Sports and health features are the focus of the update. There are also new clock faces, sleep tracking and a medication app.
watchOS 9 will be released for Apple Watches in autumn. The update brings a number of detailed improvements, for example to notifications and the calendar app, as Apple announced on Monday at its keynote at the WWDC 2022 developer conference. New features also include four watch faces and the option to include dogs and cats in the portrait photo watch face. The watchfaces continue to come only from Apple itself, opening up to third-party developers does not seem to be planned.
Many improvements for joggers
The biggest innovations can be seen in sports and health functions: Apple’s training In the future, the app will be able to show new data about running form during running workouts, including information on ground contact and stride length, and there is also a wattage measurement on board that works without external hardware.
New are the support for heart rate zones as well as the possibility to set up interval workouts and to be informed about exceeding or falling below a certain measured value – all common functions of classic GPS sports watches. In multisport activities such as a triathlon, the watch should automatically recognize the transitions between the sports itself, so that the athlete no longer has to change this manually.
watchOS 9 no longer for Apple Watch Series 3
Other new features of watchOS 9 include capturing and listing sleep phases when tracking sleep with the watch. A new function reminds users to take their medication, which is part of the iOS 16 Health app. Patients with atrial fibrillation will be able to save a history of the occurrence of the cardiac arrhythmia in order to discuss this with the doctor or to compare it with other health data .
As an operating aid, the clock can be mirrored and controlled on the iPhone in the future, and there are also new functions for family configuration. watchOS 9 requires at least an Apple Watch Series 4, for the Series 3 – which Apple still sells – the update will not be available.
Update 07.06.2022 09:18 Clock
Part of watchOS 9 are Quick Actions, which allow for one-handed control through hand gestures – like answering a call. The function is based on the AssistiveTouch operating aid. In the future, VoIP services can use the phone function (CallKit) of the Apple Watch for calls.