Apple Watch update will detect and time hand-washing - Business Insider
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The new Apple Watch update will detect when you're washing your hands to make sure you do it for long enough

apple watch hand washing apple watch hand washing
A new feature for the Apple Watch can detect when you're washing your hands.

Apple Watch users will soon be able to rely on their smartwatch to tell them they're washing their hands for long enough to properly prevent spreading the coronavirus.

Apple announced Monday that the newest update to the Apple Watch, WatchOS 7, would be able to detect when the person wearing the smartwatch is washing their hands. The watch will then set a countdown timer for 20 seconds, the amount of time the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend people wash their hands for to ensure they're not spreading germs.

Apple revealed new software updates Monday for its smartwatch, iPhone, iPad and Mac computers at the company's annual Worldwide Developers Conference. The event is virtual for the first time due to the coronavirus outbreak, and Apple released some pandemic-related features among its announcements.

Hand-washing, while always a necessity, has become more important than ever to do properly due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The Apple Watch will use motion sensors and sounds to recognize when its user is washing their hands, then set a timer for 20 seconds. The Watch will also offer haptic feedback, so it'll vibrate to signal to the wearer the 20 seconds are complete.

Apple also revealed that its new iPhone software, iOS 14, will allow users to add face masks to their customizable Memojis.

Besides the hand-washing feature, Watch OS 7 will bring to the Apple Watch a much-anticipated sleep tracking tool, something with which competing fitness trackers like Fitbit have long been equipped. Apple also revealed that its smartwatch will be able to track dancing as a workout, and let users create and access third-party watch faces.

Apple has yet to set a launch date for WatchOS 7 and its other new software, but it typically releases the updates sometime in the fall alongside new iPhones and other hardware.

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