watchOS 6, the next major software update to the operating system powering Apple’s wearable device, packs in a few cool new features. In terms of voice interactions, Siri on your wrist is now more useful with such enhancements as web and app search.
Siri enhancements in watchOS 6
watchOS 6 was unveiled at the WWDC 2019 keynote on Monday, June 3, 2019.
The first developer beta dropped the same day ahead of public release in the fall. Like prior watchOS betas, the new watchOS 6 software won’t be made available for public beta testing.
Here’s everything new you can do with Siri in watchOS 6.
Identifying songs with Shazam
Siri for iOS has been integrated with the Apple-owned Shazam song identification service since 2014, and now it’s come to an Apple Watch near you. Siri’s built-in Shazam song recognition is a super handy way to quickly identify songs that are playing around you.
Raise your wrist and ask what’s playing to see matching tunes. watchOS 6’s Shazam integration is independent of other Apple devices. If you own a cellular watch, you can tap into Siri and Shazam to discover the latest tunes even when you don’t have an iPhone on you.
Searching topics on the web
Your Apple Watch lets you view webpages in Safari’s Reader Mode on your wrist, thanks to a stripped-down version of the WebKit rendering engine which debuted in the previous watchOS 5 update. In watchOS 5, searching for a topic on the web is possible but very clunky — you have to message yourself a google.com link because watchOS 5 doesn’t have Safari nor does it support searching across the web with your voice.
The new watchOS 6 software changes that. While Safari is still out of the question, Siri now lets you search a topic and scroll through the webpages for the top results on your watch face.
According to Apple, “Siri search queries can display webpage results in full on Apple Watch”.
Finding apps on App Store
The App Store storefront is coming to your wrist!
For the first time, Apple Watch wearers can find and install third-party apps, browse curated collections, view product pages designed for the watch screen and more, all directly on the device itself because watchOS 6 makes App Store available right on the wrist.
While you can search App Store using Scribble or Dictation, watchOS 6 lets you enlist the help of Siri. Just say something along the lines of “Download [APP NAME] from App Store” and the assistant will display matches within the App Store app. You can then tap on a desired entry and scroll to read all about the chosen app, as well as browse screenshots and check reviews.
watchOS 6 compatibility and availability
Like watchOS 5, the new watchOS 6 software is compatible with all Apple Watch models sans the original Series 0 model. While the software runs fine on Series 1, Series 2, Series 3 and Series 4 watches, some features may require newer hardware.
watchOS 6 will release commercially as a free software update in Fall 2019.
How do you like watchOS 6?
While the aforementioned Siri enhancements are really quality of life improvements, watchOS 6 packs a bunch of other more substantial changes that promise to make interacting with your Apple wearable device more satisfying and gratifying than ever before.
What’s your favorite Siri-related enhancement? Taking a broader view, which new watchOS 6 capability would you single out as the most important improvement for Apple Watch?
Share your thoughts in the comments down below.