watchOS 9 is the next iteration of Apple's watch OS, and we just got a sneak peek of what it has in store for us. watchOS 9 will be officially released in September along with the Apple Watch Series 8, and here is everything you need to know about the new watchOS.
New watch faces
For watchOS 9, Apple has released four new Apple Watch faces, and they look stunning. Here is our first impression of each of the watch faces.
A constantly updating 3D model of the Earth, which will show cloud coverage around the world, has been completely redesigned. The lunar watch face depicts the relationship between our normal calendar and the lunar calendar, which is important for many festivals in different cultures and religions around the world.
It is a wacky and interactive art watch face designed in collaboration with Joi Fulton, a Chicago-based illustrator and artist. The playful characters add a bit of personality to your watch, and parents with kids will certainly appreciate the playful nature of the watch face.
A type-driven face with custom numbers that change as the Digital Crown is turned. When the wrist is down, custom-designed numbers change in style and weight and rotate to become pills. The circular dial can hold up to four complications, and the colors can be changed.
This one is my favorite; and you can use any portrait photo, and the watch face will add a depth effect to the image. It is hard to explain in words and can be better depicted in images, but I really think this is going to be the most used watch face as it allows you to personalize your Apple watch completely.
Workout app updates
Apple is really turning its workout game on with several useful updates on the new watchOS 9. You will have much more information presented to you; here is a brief overview of what changed since the last watchOS update.
Heart rate zones in workout
watchOS 9 will be able to use the heart rate data to show you the target heart rate zones you are currently in, as well as how close you are nearing to another lower or higher zone. It's crucial for a variety of different types of training. Furthermore, the heart rate zones can be created automatically using your personal health data, or you can manually set them if you have specific zones in mind.
New custom workouts
You can create custom workouts with structured intervals in watchOS 9's Workout app, which means you can include rest intervals between sets, reps, or whatever you're doing.
watchOS 9 will also include a Multisport workout type that allows you to track swimming, running, and biking all in one workout. Apple will collect data from the different sensors of the watch and determine the type of workout you are doing. This means you do not have to manually think to switch between different exercise moods and concentrate more on your workouts.
New metrics for runners
Apple also added even more trackable metrics to running workouts, allowing you to get a better sense of how you're doing. Stride Length, Ground Contact Time, and Vertical Oscillation are some of the new metrics. All of these new metrics will be available in the Health app, where you'll be able to track trends over time.
Furthermore, you will be able to race against yourself, selecting either your best or last result, allowing you to keep track of your progress easily.
Kickboard detection when swimming.
watchOS 9 will be able to detect when you're using a kickboard automatically using the sensors on your Apple Watch and classify the stroke type in your workout summary. Similar to running exercise, swimming will also have many detailed data which you can use to compare your training progressions.
While Fitness+ is already a great way to get coached workouts, watchOS 9 will add on-screen guidance to supplement the trainer coaching, allowing you to get even more out of your workouts.
watchOS 9 also adds the ability to stream workouts to third-party AirPlay-compatible devices and display on-screen metrics, so you won't need an Apple TV to use Fitness+ on your TV. watchOS 9 should be able to show you your on-screen metrics as long as your TV supports AirPlay.
If you are like me and always forgetting to take your medicines on time, this application will be a "life saver," both literally and figuratively. The medication app will allow you to keep track of your medicines on your Apple Watch or in the health app on your iPhone. You can also create personalized medication schedules and reminders to ensure that you always take your medicines correctly and on time. In your iPhone's health app, you can even see detailed information.
Update in Sleep tracking
Apple added sleep tracking in watchOs 7, but its functionality was pretty limited. With the addition of Sleep Stages, it appears that sleep tracking in watchOS 9 will provide even more insight into how you sleep at night. watchOS 9 detects whether you are in REM, Core, or Deep sleep by using the accelerometer and heart rate sensor in your Appel Watch. The Sleep app on your Apple Watch will display all of your sleep stage data, as well as more detailed breakdowns of your sleeping time. In addition, the Health app on your iPhone will display additional metrics such as heart rate and respiratory rate. Overall, sleep tracking is completely revamped, and it's significantly better than it previously was.
Apple has long boasted that the Apple Watch ECG app can detect potential signs of atrial fibrillation (AFib), which can lead to serious — even fatal — complications if left untreated. If you've been diagnosed with AFib, you'll be able to use the new AFib History feature in watchOS 9, which the FDA has approved for those aged 22 and up who have been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation.
So will AFib be available in all countries at launch? No, because AFib is an extension of the ECG app, it will only be available in countries that already support ECG.
watchOS 9 supported devices
Heartbreak for Apple Watch Series 3 users as WatchOS 9 will only be supported in Series 4 and above devices. Here is a list of supported devices:
- Apple Watch Series 4
- Apple Watch Series 5
- Apple Watch Series 6
- Apple Watch Series 7
- Apple Watch SE
When will watchOS 9 be released for use?
Apple watch will officially get released in September, hopefully with Apple Watch Series 8. But developer preview is already available for download, with an open beta to follow soon.