Top 40 Hidden watchOS 4 Features

BY Khamosh Pathak

Published 14 Jun 2017

watchOS 4 Workouts List

watchOS 4 is an evolutionarily update that builds up on the new revolutionary features in watchOS 3. While there are new headlining features like new watch faces, redesigns for the Dock and Workouts app, a lot of changes are small and hidden.

Here’s our list of all the hidden features in watchOS 4 that we’ve discovered so far.

1. All Apps Button in Dock

watchOS 4 Dock All Apps button

When you scroll to the bottom of the Dock page, you’ll now see a shortcut for opening the App Launcher.

2. List view in App Launcher

watchOS 4 Apps List View

When you Force Touch on the App Launcher, you can now switch to the List View.

3. Create Watch Face from Photos App

watchOS 4 Create Watch Face

When viewing a photo in the Photos app on the iPhone, tap on the Share button and select Create Watch Face. You can then use the current photo for creating a photos face or a Kaleidoscope face.

4. Switch Sorting View in Dock

watchOS 4 Dock Preferences

From the Watch app, go to the Dock section to switch from Recents view (which is the default) to the Favorites view.

5. Customize Favorites View in Dock

watchOS 4 Dock Watch App Editing

After switching to the Favorites view, you’ll notice that your watchOS 3 Dock arrangement is back. Tap on the Edit button to add apps to the Dock, remove them and to reorder them.

6. New Pairing UI

When you’re pairing a new Apple Watch, you’ll now get an AirPods style pairing UI.

7. Apple Watch Tips During Pairing Process

During the pairing process, you’ll be able to read up on Apple Watch’s features.

8. Passcode Screen Design Update

watchOS 4 Passcode UI

Passcode screen now has bolder text and bigger buttons.

9. New Animations for Passcode Screen

watchOS 4 Passcode Animation

When you tap on Passcode buttons, they now expand to show the touch feedback.

10. Bolder and Bigger Notification Text

watchOS 4 Notifications Text

The notification text is slightly bolder and slightly bigger, making it easier to read. Now, when you get two notifications for the same app, you’ll be able to read both of them without going to the Notification Center.

11. Install Button for Available Apps

watchOS 4 Available Apps List

Scroll to the bottom of the Watch app and you’ll find a list of Available apps that can be installed on the Watch, with a handy Install button for each of the apps on the list.

12. Keypad in Phone App

There’s a new Keypad option in the Phone app so you can dial numbers without adding them to your contacts first.

13. New in Call UI

watchOS 4 In Call UI

When you’re in a call, you’ll get a shortcut for the Keypad. This will help you when you’re on a call with a customer service line.

14. Maps App Design Changes

watchOS 4 Maps

Maps app also gets the redesigned cards view for the recent locations list.

15. Repeat Button When Timer Ends

watchOS 4 Timer Repeat Button

When a timer ends, you’ll now see a new button to quickly restart the same timer again.

16. Music App Update

watchOS 4 Music App

Music app now automatically syncs your frequently played playlists from the iPhone. And when you open the Music app, you’ll see full-screen previews of each album that you can scroll through. Tap on an album to view the tracks and to start playback.

17. Add Albums and Artists to Apple Watch

watchOS 4 Add Music to Apple Watch

If you go to the Music section in the Watch app, you can also individually add artists and albums to the Music app on the Apple Watch.

18. Camera App Takes Videos and Portrait Shots

watchOS 4 Camera app

The Camera app has been updated. It can now shoot videos on your iPhone and take Portrait Mode shots as well.

19. New News App

watchOS 4 News App

There’s a new News app which shows the top stories and excerpts of news stories from the News app.

20. News App Complication

There’s a complication for reading the headlines from the watch face.

21. Flashlight in Control Center

watchOS 4 Flashlight

When you swipe up to the Control Center, you’ll see a new Flashlight button. This turns your entire screen white, emulating a flashlight. Turn the Watch away from you and it gets brighter.

22. Outdoor Workout Night Light

watchOS 4 Flashing Light

Swipe to the second pane in Flashlight view to view the blinking flashlight that will be helpful when you’re out running in the night.

23. Red Flashlight

watchOS 4 Red Flashlight

There’s a third, red flashlight as well, which should help you read at night without hurting your eyes.

24. Location Icon in Control Center

watchOS 4 Control Center Location

When there’s an app using your location on the iPhone, you’ll see a new location icon in the Control Center.

25. Animated Now Playing Complication

Now Playing complication in watch face now animates when there is some media playing.

26. Updated Now Playing Interface

watchOS 4 Now Playing screen

Now Playing interface now shows the source of the media in the top – iPhone or Apple Watch.

27. Workouts App List View Update

watchOS 4 Workouts List

Workouts list view gets the same stacked card interface as the Dock.

28. Workouts Start Instantly

When you tap on a workout, it now starts instantly. No need to set a goal.

29. New Menu for Workout Goals

watchOS 4 Workout Goals options

If you choose to set a goal, tap on the menu button for each card and select the goal based on time, calories burned and so on.

30. Music Controls in Workout App

watchOS 4 Workouts Now Playing

Swipe left on the workout screen and you’ll be able to control your media playback from right there.

31. Animation for Workout Types

watchOS 4 Workout Screen Animation

When you start a workout, you’ll see the animation based on the activity, in the top-right corner.

32. Workout Tracking UI Update

watchOS 4 Workout screen

The text in the workout screen is now chunkier, making it easier to read.

33. Start New Workout Quickly

watchOS 4 Workout Options

You can start a new workout quickly by getting to the options screen and tapping the New button.

34. More Swim Tracking Features

watchOS 4 Swim Tracking

The Pool Swim workout can now track your sets as well as your rest times.

35. Auto Do Not Disturb

When a workout starts, the app will automatically start the Do Not Disturb mode (if it’s already setup).

36. Monthly Activity Challenges

Activity app will create customized monthly challenges for you, based on your previous month’s performance.

37. Heart Rate App Update

watchOS 4 Heart Rate

The Heart rate app now shows a 24-hour history of your heart rate tracking.

38. Gym Equipment Support

For gym equipment that has NFC, you can just touch your Apple Watch to them to sync them. The heart rate data would then come from the Apple Watch, everything else from the workout equipment.

39. VO2 max data logging

VO2 max data is now logged directly to the Health app.

40. New Animations For Activity Notifications

When you reach a milestone or get a new achievement, you’ll get a cool new full-screen animation before the Activity app notification shows up.

Your Favorite New watchOS 4 Features?

What are some of your favorite features in watchOS 4? Share with us in the comments below.

Don’t forget to check our comprehensive cover of iOS 11 features and macOS High Sierra features.