Apple has released a significant update for the Apple Watch – watchOS 10.2 – which introduces helpful new capabilities, especially for health and fitness. Most notably, Siri can now access health data on the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 for the first time. This allows users to get health statistics instantly with just their voice.
Announced alongside iOS 17.2 yesterday, watchOS 10.2 enables Apple’s voice assistant, Siri, to provide real-time health data from the last week when asked. This includes Activity ring progress, step counts, respiratory rates, and more. Siri can also log new data points like weight and medications in the Health app.
What’s New in watchOS 10.2?
The watchOS 10.2 update packs a handful of helpful improvements for Apple Watch users:
- Access health data via Siri – Series 9 and Ultra 2 owners can retrieve statistics like steps, heart rate, and sleep through simple voice requests.
- Swipe to change watch faces – The ability to swipe left or right and instantly swap to another watch face returns after being removed in watchOS 10.
- Voice workout control – End workouts by saying “Hey Siri, stop my workout” instead of swipes and taps.
- Enhanced Now Playing for HomePod – View media info when nearby HomePod devices playing Apple Music or Podcasts.
- Fitness+ audio customization – Prioritize music or trainer voice volume for selected workouts.
- Reliability fixes – Addresses Watch app sync issues that caused missing watch faces.
Along with useful HomePod media integrations and audio tweaks for Fitness+, the emphasis remains on faster access to health data through Siri voice commands. This seems indicative of Apple’s broader ambitions for more advanced health tracking powered by AI technology.
This leap in Siri functionality coincides with Apple’s next-generation S9 chip launched in the Series 9 and Ultra 2 watches, which processes requests on-device. Local processing allows speedy results without compromising user privacy.
“A big part of our focus is making health data accessible,” said Deidre Caldbeck, Apple’s senior director of product marketing for Apple Watch and Health. “And so we think this feature certainly brings us closer to that goal.”
Additional perks of the watchOS 10.2 update include the return of swipe gestures to switch watch faces, the option to end workouts by voice, enhanced integration with HomePod speakers, and more.
This refinement shows Apple is still improving the Apple Watch experience. The focus on faster access to health statistics hints at Apple’s long-term ambitions for more advanced health tracking and analysis. With rivals like Fitbit exploring new AI-powered features as well, could Apple leverage technology like chatbots for digital health assistance?
While full details remain under wraps, expect expanded Siri health capabilities in the next Apple Watch generation. This is likely to launch this September alongside the hotly anticipated iPhone 17.
Have you tried using Siri to get health data on your Apple Watch since watchOS 10.2? How useful do you find the new features? Let us know your experience in the comments.