The Apple Watch continues to receive the love it deserves. Along with iOS and iPadOS updates, Apple has taken advantage of WWDC 2022 to unveil the new features coming to the operating system for its smartwatches. These are the new features of watchOS 9, the latest version for the Apple Watch that focuses on improvements for training and health.
These improvements are expected to reach both the future Apple Watch Series 8 and the current Apple Watch Series 7 and several models of the current generations.
Four new watchfaces
Customization has always been one of the most relevant points of the Apple Watch and with watchOS 9 comes four new watchfaces, from a lunar calendar to a background that changes depending on the time of day.
The first of these is Lunar, which represents the relationship between the Gregorian and lunar calendars. Playtime is a creation in collaboration with artist Joi Fulton; Metropolitan is a classic watch face that changes as we rotate the screen and Astronomy is the fourth of the new watch faces, with a star map and current cloud data.
In addition to these new watch faces, watchOS has redesigned some of the current watch faces. Portraits include a depth effect and allow the addition of cats, dogs, and landscapes.
New metrics and redesign of the Training application
WatchOS 9 includes a much more accurate heart rate monitoring tool. We can set up distance and time intervals, in addition to these new heart rate zones, where the pace of exercise is right for us. Through taps or voice, we can change the mode.
The Workout app has been redesigned to provide more comprehensive metrics. With watchOS 9, new personalized training plans are introduced and new alerts can be added, including pace, power, heart rate, and cadence.
For triathletes, the Training app includes a multisport mode that automatically switches between swimming, cycling, and running, using sensors that recognize movement patterns.
Sleep phase information
Sleep tracking for watchOS 9 has also been revamped. Apple Watches will now be able to detect when users are in REM or deep sleep, being able to identify different stages of sleep. These improvements are due to the enormous study enabled by wearables over the past few years and advances in machine learning models.
Medication management and atrial fibrillation detection
The new version of the Apple Watch is also able to identify and monitor the interaction between various medications to prevent dangerous incompatibilities.
A new tracking of our atrial fibrillation will help those suffering from heart conditions. As Apple explains, this is pioneering monitoring in the wearable sector and has been made possible in coordination with the American Heart Association.
Release date and models that will receive watchOS 9
Apple has not yet confirmed the exact date, but the new version is expected to be available in September. However, the watchOS 9 beta will arrive a few months earlier during the summer.
In addition to the Apple Watch Series 8, these are the models that will be compatible with watchOS 9: Apple Watch Series 4, Series 5, Apple Watch SE, Series 6, and Series 7. That is all the company’s watches since the Apple Watch Series 4.