What’s New in the watchOS SDK

Learn about the key technologies and capabilities available in the watchOS SDK, the toolkit used to build apps for Apple Watch. For detailed information on API changes in the latest released versions, including each beta release, see the watchOS Release Notes.

watchOS 5

With the watchOS 5 SDK, apps can take advantage of enriched complications, Siri Shortcuts, interactive notifications, audio background mode, enhanced workout APIs, and more.

Siri Shortcuts

Siri can predict shortcuts to actions that a user may want to perform using your app and surface those shortcuts to the user on the Siri watch face. You determine which actions in your app are pertinent to the user and tell Siri about them by providing the actions as relevant shortcuts. watchOS 5 also includes support for any personalized voice phrases for shortcuts that users have set.

For more information about providing shortcuts donations in your apps, see Shortcuts in the developer documentation, or download the Accelerating App Interactions with Shortcuts sample code project.

Interactive Notifications

Dynamic notifications can now include interactive controls to make them more actionable. For more information, see Enabling Interactive Notifications and the WatchKit developer documentation

Enhanced Connectivity and Background Audio

watchOS 5 includes an enhanced connectivity API to sync audio content to Apple Watch and a new background mode to play long-form audio continuously. For information about syncing audio content, see the progress property of WCSessionFileTransfer and the WatchConnectivity developer documentation. For information about the new background mode for audio, see Playing Background Audio

Updated Workout APIs

watchOS 5 includes updated workout APIs in HealthKit for improved data collection, simplicity, and reliability. For more information, see the developer documentation for HKWorkoutBuilder and HKLiveWorkoutBuilder.