Apple announced watchOS 9 during WWDC 2022 this Monday, June 6. Among the new features are a new and more efficient workout metrics system and the arrival of Sleep Stages. In this article, you can check out all the new features coming to the Apple Watch operating system.
- Apple introduced some new features coming to watchOS 9 during WWDC, and the beta version will be available for download today for developers.
- WatchOS 9 offers support for the Apple Watch 4 series and above.
Last year, watchOS 8 brought features such as using your iPhone as a keyboard for the Watch, new functions for the Wallet app, as well as a number of wellness functions. This year, the company has invested even more in the health-features of the most successful watch in the world.
watchOS 9: All the new features coming to the Apple Watch
New watch faces
As an announcement of watchOS 9, Apple made improvements to some watch faces like Astronomy, Lunar, PlayTime face and Metropolitan. In addition, we had improvements to the Siri interface.
One of Apple Watch users most used features undoubtedly is the Workout app, with a series of exercise profiles and metrics to track your performance during workouts more efficient. With watchOS 9 Apple brings three new metrics for running. You can now see your stride length and ground contact time, as well as heart rate zones.
Using Machine Learning (ML) capabilities combined with watch sensors, the software can isolate torso movement and provide an accurate report on training progress. This also makes it possible to create custom workouts, allowing you to monitor what is really relevant for your workout.
Alerts during workouts
Another new feature is the alert function that is available during workouts. You can configure the type of alert you want to receive in advance during your workouts. This way, you can easily be informed about workout-goals or dangers without looking at the watch regularly.
If you don't own an Apple Watch, you can still benefit from the new health-features. Because Apple's Fitness-App will be rolled out to all iPhone users starting with iOS 16. A big change for Apple-users as most features were exclusively available to Apple-Watch-users in the past.
Health app: Sleep Stages
The Health app has now received the Sleep Stages feature, which combines watch sensors like Accelerometer and heart monitor to understand which stages of sleep you have stayed in the longest. Research was conducted to better understand how sleep stages impact people's health, and now Apple also wants to use such information to improve your sleep reports as well.
AFib even more accurate
Apple has also improved the way Apple Watch detects atrial fibrillation – a fairly common type of heart arrhythmia that can increase your risk of stroke. Now, watchOS will be able to detect how often a person experiences AFib over a certain period of time.
watchOS 9 will make it easier to keep track of medication intake, with reminders sent for use of these frequently used medications. Everything can be monitored from the Health app, and it will even be possible to add the medications using the iPhone camera and scan the product label.
In addition, it will be possible to use the sharing feature with family members to help monitor the health of family members.
During the presentation, Apple executives made a point of reaffirming their concern for people's health data and ensuring that it remains encrypted on the device.
This was a first presentation of what we can expect from watchOS 9, so many features were only mentioned, such as the arrival of six new languages to the watchOS keyboard and the ability to control smart devices from the watch with Family Setup.
Notifications have been adjusted to be less disruptive, and on the accessibility front we have the new Apple Watch Mirroring feature, which will allow people with physical and motor disabilities to control the Apple Watch remotely.
watchOS 9: These Apple Watch models will receive the update
If Apple maintains its historical release pattern, we can expect to see watchOS 9 this September. These are the Apple Watches that will receive the watchOS 9 update:
And of course, Apple will pre-load the upcoming Watch Series 8 with the new watchOS 9 right out of the box.
So, what do you think about the new features coming with watchOS 9? Which of the new features is the most relevant to you?