watchOS 4 Improvements and Drawbacks

WatchOS 4: Improvements and Drawbacks

Apple announced watchOS 4 in June and started rolling out watchOS 4 in September. It promotes version 4 of the mobile operating system for Apple Watch as more intelligent than its predecessors. In addition to bringing more intelligence, WatchOS 4 comes with an array of new features and improvements related to music, fitness, and health life. Also, it enables provides a number of new funny watch faces, along with a flashlight tool and all-day personal assistant. However, many developers feel that the new features and improvements do not make watchOS 4 a gigantic update. While developing apps for Apple Watch, the developers keep in mind the new features and improvements in watchOS 4, along with its major shortcomings.

Important New Features, Improvements and Shortcomings of watchOS 4

Extended Siri Intelligence

Each new version of iOS comes with upgraded and more intelligent Siri. Apple now uses Siri to make watchOS more intelligent than its predecessors. While using watchOS 4, users can use new Siri watch faces to display updated information simply by raising their wrist. Each time a user raises his wrist, Siri watch face will display dynamic updates based on his routine and time of the day. At the same time, a user can also use Siri watch faces to access updated information and new messages from various apps.

Updated Activity App

WatchOS comes with an improved and updated Activity app. The updated app delivers intelligent coaching and encourages users to close Activity Rings. When a user switches on his Apple Watch in the morning, the Activity App will display a notification suggesting the right way to meet yesterday’s activity level or the proximity to earning an achievement. Also, it will display a notification towards the end of the day to convey the activities required to close the Activity Ring of the day. The Activity App further persuades users to indulge in physical activities by sending unique monthly challenges.

Updated Workout App

WatchOS complements the updated Activity App with an improved Workout App.  The updated version of Workout app comes with motion and heart rate algorithm to high intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts and auto-sets for pool swim exercises. It even captures overall calories and measure exercise time when a user workout continuously or back-to-back. Apple has further complemented the updated Workout app with a GymKit.


A user can take advantage of the GymKit to connect his Apple Watch with compatible fitness and gym equipments like treadmill, indoor bikes, and stair steppers. GymKit further make the smartwatch and fitness equipments exchange updated information like calories, distance covered, floors climbed, and workout speed and pace. The integration makes it easier for users to gather relevant and updated health information without managing multiple devices. However, a user can use the GymKit to integrate his Apple Watch only with compatible devices.

Redesigned Music App

WatchOS improves and personalize music experience of users through a redesigned Music App. A user can use the updated Music App to automatically synchronize favourite mix, new music mix, and most listened tracks. He can even integrate the Apple Watch with AirPods to listen to listen high quality music regardless of his current locations. Also, he can listen to his favorite tracks simply by touching his smartwatch.

Person to Person Payment through Apple Pay

While using watchOS 4, users can make and receive person-to-person payment through Apple Pay. Apple Pay enables users to send and receive money in a quick and secure way. A user can even make and receive payment using Siri or within Message App. The user can even use his Apple Pay Cash account to spend or transfer the money immediately.

List View

WatchOS 4 allows users to see and access app icons as a grid or a list. The users can switch from default grid view to list view simply by hard-pressing the app screen and then selecting the list view option. The can further repeat the process to switch from list view to grid view. However, the list view option arranges the app icons alphabetically. The users lack the option to sort or rearrange the app icons according to their personal preference.

Dock App

While using watchOS 4, users can activate and access the new Dock app simply by pressing the bottom button. Dock enables users to see and access apps from a vertically-scrolled list of cards. Each card will display the latest information and messages from the specific app. A user even has option to make Dock preview the recently opened or favorite apps. But no user can make Dock display favorite and recently viewed apps at a time.

New Watch Faces

WatchOS 4 comes with several new watch faces – Kaleidoscope face, and faces inspired by popular Toy Story characters like Woody, Jessie, Buzz and Toy Box. At the same time, the users also have option to use several new Siri watch faces to access from various apps – alarms, reminders, photos, timer, stopwatch, calendar, maps, wallet, news, weather, and now playing. Hence, a user can use the new watch faces to make his smartwatch more appealing and access updated information.

Flashlight Tool

WatchOS 4 further allows users to convert the super bring flash into a flashlight instantaneously. The user can even access the flashlight icon appearing at the bottom of the app screen. He can enable the flashlight mode simply by touching the flashlight icon. At the same time, he can access a bright red screen with bright white setting and an option to alter.


Apple has updated watchOS with several new features and updated apps. But many app developers still feel that watchOS is not a game-changer. They complain that Apple is yet to address some of the performance issues.  Many users even face a number of problems while upgrading from watchOS 3 to watchOS 4. But watchOS 4 delivers improved user experience through these new features and updated apps.

On the whole, watchOS comes with several new features, enhancements, and updated apps. These new features will contribute towards boosting sales of Apple Watch and increasing market share of watchOS. But many users and iOS app developers still feel that these new features are not game-changers despite making watchOS 4 better than its predecessors.

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