Apple Watch Series 7: The 5 most significant new features and how you'll use them

Apple Watch Series 7: The 5 most significant new features and how you'll use them ...

The Apple Watch Series 7 will be released on Oct. 15 and features a bigger screen, faster charging and arguably sturdier design. The blood oxygen sensor that debuted in last year's Series 6 may not sound as exciting as the sensor used in the Series 6. However, the Series 7's new capabilities have the potential to enhance convenience to a variety of everyday tasks, from checking the time to responding to texts and tracking your sleep.

Apple unveiled the $399 Apple Watch Series 7 at its product launch event on Sept. 14, along with the iPhone 13 family, a refreshed iPad Mini, and - if you're unsure sassy iPad. The new watch will be available for preorder starting Oct. 8, with its release the following week.

Although we haven't yet tried it, the new Apple Watch seems like a small update to the Series 6 that's perfect for people who want to replace relics of ages.

If you're considering the Apple Watch Series 7, here's a breakdown of what'll be new and why it matters.

Now playing: Watch this: What's new with the Apple Watch Series 7?

Apple Watch Series 7 will have a QWERTY keyboard for real typing.

The Apple Watch is getting a new QWERTY keyboard that takes advantage of the Watch's larger screen, which is about 20% larger than the Series 6'. This allows you to type similarly to the way you would on your phone.

What's new? A full-size keyboard means that you won't be restricted to sending a canned response to incoming text, scribbling e-mail, or dictating. This is the case with the Apple Watch Series 6.

How you'll use it. The Apple Watch Series 7's QWERTY keyboard lets you tap each key to type, or you can use Apple' s QuickPath function to swipe between letters without lifting your finger.

Bottom line: The bottom line is this: The Series 7's QWERTY keyboard should make it simpler to send longer and more complex messages that are difficult to write or too private to dictate. It's also a good example of how the Apple Watch has evolved in recent years to be more effective at working independently of your phone.

Third-party Apple Watch apps such as FlickType and WatchKey already allow you to type on your Applewatch, but having it as a native option on the watch will likely result in fewer errors.

Read more: How to trade in your old watch to get the best deals on Apple Watch 7 upgrades:

Leaner screen on the Apple Watch Series 7 will help boost your reading.

The Apple Watch Series 7 is getting its first major redesign since the Series 4 launched in 2018. For the first time, the new watch will be available in 41-millimeter and 45mm sizes, a departure from the 40mm and 44mm diameters that were available on the Series 4 through Series 6.

What's new in the workplace? What is new? The Apple Watch Series 7's screen is about 20% larger than the Series 6' and more than 50% larger that the series 3. The screens are also 40% smaller than the Series 6, allowing Apple to expand the screen size without making the device much larger. Apple claims that older watch bands will still be compatible with the Series 7.

How you'll use it? The Series 7's larger screen should help it perform its most important function, showing information that'll be easy to see in a single glance so you don't have to grab your phone. The Series 7 will be able to display 50% more text without having to scroll, making reading text messages, emails, and notifications easier.

There's more to it than that. There are more choices. Apple is also reorganizing the user interface in its apps to make more use of the bigger screen. Apps such as the stopwatch, activity, and timer will have larger buttons, making it easier to hit snooze even if you're still half asleep. You'll also get watch faces that are optimized for the Series 7's larger display, such as a new version of the Modular face that can accommodate complications with more information.

And, with WatchOS 8, you can now set Portrait photos as your watch face, allowing the Series 7's bigger screen to show them off better.

Read more: Apple Watch Series 7 vs. Series 6: The biggest changes coming in Apple's new smartwatch

A brighter screen in always-on mode.

Apple is also updating the Apple Watch's display in a different way by making the screen more visible in always-on mode. It's another improvement that should make it simpler to get quick information from your watch.

What's new? What are the latest innovations? According to Apple, the Apple Watch Series 7's screen is up to 70% brighter in always-on mode when your wrist is down. However, Apple explicitly states that this applies to indoor use, so it's unclear if you'll notice any noticeable gains outdoors in direct sunlight.

How you'll use it: The Series 7's increased brightness means it should be even easier to see information like the time, your activity rings, and your next meeting without having to wake the watch' screen.

While it doesn't sound like the change will be noticeable outdoors, it does feel like a step toward making the Apple Watch's screen appear the same whether it're asleep or in use. Doing so would create a more seamless look that doesn't feel jarring when switching between awake and idle mode.

In the Apple Watch's settings menu, ensure that the always-on display option is enabled. On your Apple Watch's app screen, hold down the "F12" button. Settings icon is located at the top of the settings screen. Scroll down to go to the bottom of the page. Display & Brightness Tap and hold and tap and click and a tap to close the door. Always On! . Make sure the switch next to Always On is turned on from there.

What about battery life? You may choose to turn off the feature if you want to maximize battery life, but Apple hasn't stated whether the brighter always-on display will increase the watch's power consumption. I wear an Apple Watch Series 6 daily and leave the always-on display on, and my watch usually makes it through a full day with sips of juice left over in the morning. But battery life will depend on your usage, and activities like GPS access while running will likely cause it to drain faster.

Apple Watch Series 7 should charge faster than Series 6 if it is used properly.

The Apple Watch Series 7's battery is expected to last as long as the Series 6, but Apple claims it'll cut the amount of time it takes to charge your watch.

What's new? According to Apple, the Apple Watch Series 7 can charge up to 33% faster than the apple Watch series 6. It should take 45 minutes to charge from zero to 80%, and 8 minutes of charging should enable 8 hours of sleep tracking.

How you'll use it: We've been asking for more battery life out of the Apple Watch for years, but it's especially relevant now that Apple has added native sleep tracking to its smartwatches. Apple is making it simpler to charge the watch during short periods of the day rather than prolonging the battery life, presumably so that you don't have to recharge it overnight. The idea is that you'll be able to charge the watch's battery whenever you have a few spare minutes.

Bottom line: The bottom line is this: the bottom number. The Apple Watch Series 7's faster charging speed is another way Apple is trying to make its smartwatch more of a sleep tracker. Apple's new WatchOS 8 update includes the ability to measure respiratory rate during sleep, making the Series 7 more accessible in a hurry. Taken together, these improvements may help Apple catch up to Fitbit, which offers multiday battery life on its watches and more detailed sleep statistics.

Read more: All the biggest differences between the iPhone 13, Mini, Pro, and Pro Max

The Apple Watch Series 7 has a more rugged build than the Apple watch Series 7.

Exercise tracking has become one of Apple Watch's top areas of focus. The Series 7 should be more suited for outdoor activities because Apple claims it has a higher-quality construction.

What's new: The Apple Watch Series 7 has been rated for IP6X dust resistance (a first) and is covered in a crystal cover that Apple claims is 50% thicker than the Applewatch Series 6. You should feel at ease wearing it to the beach or on a hike.

How you'll use it: The Series 7's increased strength and ease of use may complement the WatchOS 8'' new cycling capabilities. The new software includes an updated version of fall detection that Apple claims can tell the difference between falling off a bicycle and causing commotion of varying degrees. Apple also claims WatchOS 8 will be able to detect outdoor cycling workouts automatically.

Bottom line: We won't know how durable Apple Watch Series 7 is until we put it to the test. People who want a truly rugged watch have many options from Garmin and Casio to choose from. These revisions, however, show Apple is trying to push the Apple Watch beyond basic workouts and appeal to those who may require a more durable watch for activities such as rock climbing. That's the premise behind the predicted Explorer Edition, which, according to Bloomberg, will be stronger against impact and may debut in 2022.

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