watchOS 11 is coming to Apple Watch with Training Load, a new Vitals app and a better Widget Stack

WWDC 2024
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple has announced watchOS 11 during its WWDC 2024 keynote presentation  (you can follow all the announcements as they happen at our WWDC 2024 live blog), and there’s lots to dive into, including improved features from watchOS 10, such as a more intelligent widget stack with live activities, and brand-new ones, such as the Training Load feature and the new Vitals app. 

watchOS 11 arrives with a raft of new features, including a new Training Load score. By using metrics such as your resting and average heart rates, along with stats like age and weight, Apple’s algorithm generates an ever-changing Training Load score, which can help athletes who use the best Apple Watches for activity tracking to calculate how much they’ve been training over a given period of time. 

If you’ve been training too hard, Apple will be able to let you know, while also flagging new metrics such as “weekly running distance” to ensure you remain on track to hit your goals (or understand when you need to take a break).

WWDC 2024

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple is also debuting a new Vitals app, which is designed to help you understand how well your body responds to and recovers from stress. Developed with data from Apple’s Heart & Movement study, Apple will look at heart rate, respiratory rate, sleep, and other metrics, and compare them to your average range. If multiple metrics are flagged as unusual, your Apple Watch will let you know. Your Health app will also prompt you to review aspects of your life, such as your sleep schedule, exercise levels and alcohol consumption.

Elsewhere, the widget stack receives an overhaul with Live Activities. Widgets are no longer static: you can see when your Uber is scheduled to arrive on the home screen widget without opening the app at all, or use Apple’s Check-In feature (formerly only available on iPhone) to let friends know when you’ve made it home. Apple also flags up a Baby Monitor application, and we’re sure more developers will bring in interesting new features that users can interact with directly from the widget stack.

Apple didn’t directly mention which Apple Watches will support watchOS 11 during the keynote, but a Newsroom post by Apple officially confirms that Apple will cancel support for Apple Watch Series 4, Series 5 and the original Apple Watch SE.

watchOS 11 is in beta and available for developers starting today. A public beta will be released "next month" while the rest of us will have to wait until fall, presumably September to coincide with the release of the Apple Watch 10.

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Matt Evans
Fitness, Wellness, and Wearables Editor

Matt is TechRadar's expert on all things fitness, wellness and wearable tech. A former staffer at Men's Health, he holds a Master's Degree in journalism from Cardiff and has written for brands like Runner's World, Women's Health, Men's Fitness, LiveScience and Fit&Well on everything fitness tech, exercise, nutrition and mental wellbeing.

Matt's a keen runner, ex-kickboxer, not averse to the odd yoga flow, and insists everyone should stretch every morning. When he’s not training or writing about health and fitness, he can be found reading doorstop-thick fantasy books with lots of fictional maps in them.