Exploring the new Apple Watch Series 5 health and wellness features

Apple announced its new Apple Watch Series 5 on September 10. It boasts a few new updates, including an always-on retina display, premium case finishes and a built-in compass. 

However, the best new health and wellness features are in the latest WatchOS, which is included with the Series 5 Watch. The WatchOS 6 update is also currently available for Series 3 and 4 Watches, but you need to update your iPhone to iOS 13 first.

The first notable feature is the Noise app, which is only available on the Series 4 and 5. It enables you to view the decibel levels in your surroundings in real time and set up notifications to alert you when the levels are getting to the point where hearing could get damaged. Many of us at Nano are feeling especially grateful for this feature with the Austin City Limits musical festival just around the corner (now we can at least make a more informed decision about how close to the stage is really worth it). If you’re concerned about privacy issues, Apple has stated it will not record or save any audio.

Another long-awaited feature is for women only. The Cycle Tracking app allows women to track their monthly cycle, including flow level, symptoms and spotting. It can predict when your next period is due to begin and will notify you when it is approaching. The app also has the option to log fertility metrics like basal body temperature, and can notify you with fertile window predictions.

The new OS update also includes some great upgrades for the Apple Watch’s existing fitness- and health-tracking features. The Activity app on the iPhone will be able to track trends on your activity metrics over 90 days and compare them to the past year, including move, exercise, stand minutes, distance, cardio fitness (VO2 max), walking pace and running pace. The Workout app also has a new current elevation metric for Outdoor Run, Outdoor Walk, Outdoor Cycle and Hiking workouts, which adds a helpful data point to any outdoor activity, and you’ll also be able to continuously view the Stopwatch app on your watch face during workouts.