When it is made available to the public in September, watchOS 9 will replace watchOS 8, the previous version of the Apple Watch’s operating system. A demo of watchOS 9 was shown during Apple’s June 2022 Worldwide Developers Conference.
The watchOS 9 upgrade focuses on a new health and fitness features, including improved design, new watch faces, and new apps.
There are now four different timepiece faces to choose from. Playtime, made in partnership with artist Joi Fulton, displays amusing, animated, and personified numbers, while Lunar depicts the relationship between the Gregorian calendar and numerous lunar calendars.
Both the original astronomy watch face and its updated successor, Astronomy, include remastered designs and fresh star maps and cloud data, while the classic type-driven Metropolitan watch face features a style that varies when the digital crown is turned.
Multiple previously-available watch faces have also undergone aesthetic revisions. Modular and X-Large allow for backdrop color editing, while Utility, Simple, and Activity Analog offer improved and contemporary complexities.
The focus mode can now be linked to a certain watch face, so if you’re in “work” mode, you can connect it to a watch face that’s different from what it could be in “personal” Focus mode, and the Portraits watch face now adds a depth effect to more photographs, including cats, dogs, and landscapes.
With the release of watchOS 9, Apple included the ability to measure sleep and distinguish between REM, Core, and Deep sleep. The Sleep app on the iPhone records your sleep stages, while the Health app provides a more in-depth analysis.
The new Medications app for Apple Watch is intended to assist users to keep track of and adjust their dosages of various pharmaceuticals, nutritional aids, and herbal remedies.
Medications are tracked, notifications are sent when it’s time to take them, and any drug interactions are monitored via the app (the U.S. only). The Health app on the iPhone is updated with the user’s data, so they can view further drug information.
You may now use the Digital Crown to navigate between Workout Views, and you can make your own routines from scratch, complete with work and rest periods. Users can set up custom Heart Rate Zones to track their workout intensity, and they can receive notifications about their pace, power, heart rate, and cadence as they work out.
The SWOLF score, which takes into account both the number of strokes swum and the amount of time it took to do so, allows swimmers to keep tabs on their efficiency.
The Multisport exercise type allows triathletes to switch between swimming, cycling, and running, while the Fitness app provides additional information for runners. Stride length, ground contact time, and vertical oscillation can all be monitored, and runners can compete with their personal bests or previous times on regularly run courses.
Apple has also introduced a new pacer experience, which allows runners to select a distance and target time for their run, with the Watch then determining the speed at which they should be running to meet their objective. Users can now receive Cardio Recovery estimations following any Outdoor Walk, Run, or Hike, regardless of exertion level.
Users can get more out of HIIT, Cycling, Rowing, and Treadmill workouts with the support of on-screen advice and trainer coaching with watchOS’s Fitness+ programs. For those who don’t own an Apple TV but still want to use Fitness+, AirPlay allows users to stream their workouts and meditations to non-Apple-branded TVs.
The ECG app’s AFib alerts have been improved, thanks to Apple’s addition of a new AFib History section. By activating AFib History, patients with AFib can keep tabs on how often their condition occurs, providing valuable information that can be shared with their doctors.
Using the Reminders app, you can modify the reminder’s date, time, location, tags, and notes. The Apple Watch’s Calendar app features in-built event creation in addition to List, Day, and Month views.
Family Setup now supports the Home app, allowing children to manage smart home accessories from their wrists, and Apple updated alerts on the Apple Watch to feature slimline banners that are less interruptive when the watch is in use. With the Apple Watch’s Quick Actions, users can accomplish more with a double-pinch gesture, such as answering or ending a call, playing or pausing media, and beginning or pausing exercise.
The Series 7’s QWERTY keyboard now supports more languages, like French, German, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish, and the accessibility feature Apple Watch Mirroring allows users to operate their Apple Watch remotely from a partnered iPhone using AirPlay.
In addition to the new share sheet API and the ability to combine watchOS apps with Apple TV, developers also have access to the CallKit API, which enables the answering of calls from third-party VOIP apps on the Apple Watch.