Apple iOS 14 shifts its focus in response to COVID-19

Apple has made a handful of new and noteworthy announcements at last week’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC)—with the most noteworthy being a new OS for the Apple Watch that places focus on reminding wearers to wash their hands to avoid contracting or spreading COVID-19.

“In a first-of-its-kind innovation for a wearable, Apple Watch automatically detects handwashing to initiate a 20-second countdown timer,” the tech giant said in a release. “If the wearer finishes early, they’ll be prompted to keep washing.”

The Apple Watch will tap into its sensors in order to detect when the wearer is actually washing their hands and automatically begin a 20-second timer. If the user stops washing their hands even a second or two before the timer is up, the watch will prompt the user to continue for the full twenty seconds.

Apple Watch users will also be prompted to wash their hands upon arriving home thanks to GPS tracking technology.

The latest Apple Watch iOS will also introduce sleep tracking, taking a “holistic approach to sleep” by providing tools and tracking to help wearers get an appropriate amount of sleep, to go to bed on time; and even create a bedtime routine that’s catered to their individual sleep goals in order to foster a healthier overall immune system.

Another announcement, while less pertinent to fighting COVID-19 directly, is that the iOS 14 will also come with a set of face mask graphics added to Apple’s personalised Memojis.

Users will be able to add masks to the personalized animated avatars for the first time since Apple introduced the graphics a few years ago.

Apple’s iOS 14 will also include more than twenty new Memoji hairstyles and stickers that can be used in messages and on select social media apps.

See also: Octopus Cards Can Now Be Linked With IPhones And Apple Watches For Use On Apple Pay

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