watchOS 9 Officially previewed side by side iOS 16And the macOS Ventura And the iPadOS 16 in WWDC22. The new operating system is packed with new features and improved experiences for Apple Watch users. Some of the new features include new operating scales, updated watch faces, an AFib History tool, the addition of sleep tracking data, and a medication management app. All these improvements and more will come to the list Apple Watch Models but of course Not Series 3. Existing users can take advantage of many of the same features later on in the rumored Apple Watch 8.
“Users around the world love the Apple Watch to help them stay connected with the ones they love, be more active throughout the day, and better manage their health,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer, at the keynote event. “This fall, watchOS 9 takes the Apple Watch experience to the next level with scientifically proven insights into fitness, sleep, and heart health while providing users with even more creative ways to make their Apple Watch their own,” Williams added.
The Apple Watch experience begins with new watch faces. Four new faces coming to watchOS 9 are Lunar, which depicts the relationship between the Gregorian and lunar calendars; Playtime, a dynamic piece of art unique to the Apple Watch created in collaboration with artist Joi Fulton; Metropolitan, a classic type watch face as the style changes as the Digital Crown rotates; and Astronomy, an original face completely reworked and featuring a new star map and current cloud data. All new watch faces are unique in their own way and give users the opportunity to express their personal style. watchOS 9 also introduces improved and updated complications on some of the most classic watch faces, such as Utility, Simple, and Activity Analog, along with editing the background color of modules and Modular Compact and X-Large for even more customization.
Workout is one of the most popular apps you can find on your Apple Watch. It has now been updated to provide users with richer metrics to measure performance as well as new experiences to get them to reach their goals. The workout app, watchOS 9, introduces the Digital Crown, exercise views, heart rate zones, and more, enhanced features to help monitor your workout.
The sleep tracking in watchOS 9 comes with an improvement that provides more insights while you sleep. Using signals from the accelerometer and heart rate sensor, the Apple Watch can detect if users are in REM, Core, or Deep sleep mode. Whatever stage of sleep you’re in, you can find out in the Sleep app and you can view more detailed information, like sleep time, along with additional metrics, like heart rate and respiratory rate, in the Sleep Comparison Charts in the Health app on iPhone.
Another improvement that watchOS 9 brings is the AFib History feature. With the ECG and irregular rhythm notification available on the Apple Watch, users can watch for potential signs of atrial fibrillation (AFib). AFib has been identified to be one of the main conditions that can lead to stroke if left untreated. With watchOS 9, users at risk of AFib can take advantage of the AFib history feature to access important information and deeper insights into their condition, particularly how frequently a user’s heartbeat shows signs of AFib. Users can choose to receive weekly notifications to understand frequency and view a detailed history in the Health app. Users can also access PDF versions with detailed histories of AFib and lifestyle factors, for the purpose of sharing with clinicians and caregivers.
New drugs have not been tried on watchOS 9 before. Apple Watch and iPhone users can now manage and track their medications. But users first need to create a list of medications, set up schedules and reminders, and view information about their medications in the Health app. The Medicines app on Apple Watch makes it easy and confidential for users to keep track of medications. Custom schedules are also available for each medication, and users can set up reminders for a medication to take multiple times a day, week, or month. In the US, users can receive an alert if they have potentially critical interactions with medications they’ve added to the Health app.
Additional watchOS 9 updates include redesigned notifications, new quick actions that let you do more like answering or ending a phone call, taking a photo, playing or pausing media with a dual-dial gesture, and Apple Watch Mirroring Apple Watch with accessible user control Designed for people with physical and mobility impairments, the redesigned Dock, Cardio Recovery – a useful fitness measure that can be an indicator of cardiovascular health and much more. Apple will also allow new APIs for developers who want to build best-in-class third-party apps, with CallKit and Share Sheet support, access to a photo picker, and the ability to integrate watchOS apps with Apple TV.
watchOS 9 will be available to the public later in the fall, but the developer version is already available during the beta rollout in July.