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watchOS 9 arrives with new faces, activity options, and ways to keep you healthy

By Ken Wong - on 7 Jun 2022, 4:42am

watchOS 9 arrives with new faces, activity options, and ways to keep you healthy

watchOS 9 will be in Beta in July.

Apple unveiled their latest smartwatch operating system, watchOS 9, as part of WWDC 2022. While no release date was given apart from a public beta coming in July, Apple highlighted some key features we can expect to enjoy.

Some of what to expect from watchOS 9. Image source: Apple.

Users can look forward to four new watch faces that include a remastered Astronomy face, a Lunar face that links the relationship between the Gregorian calendar and lunar calendar, the whimsical Playtime face, and Metropolitan where the style and design can change as Digital Crown is rotated.


Getting you moving

Get more information as you exercise.

The popular Workout app has been updated with new running metrics, such as running form, stride length, and ground contact time. Heart Rate Zones, allows users to track the intensity of their training using their personalised health data. They can also create Custom Workouts with things like splits, elevation, as well as rest intervals.

Runners can now track their form with new metrics that include Stride Length, Ground Contact Time, and Vertical Oscillation so that they can learn how to run better.

Swimming can now be tracked as you exercise. Image source: Apple.

Love to swim? The Apple Watch can now detect if you’re using a kickboard or the style of stoke used and track its efficiency.

This all comes together in a new multi-sport workout option so that triathletes can easily switch between any sequence of swimming, biking, and running workouts, using motion sensors to recognise movement patterns and getting details with interactive charts for more precise analysis when done.


Keeping you healthy

Find out how long you spend in each sleep state.

Sleep Stages is also coming to the Apple Watch to detect which phase of sleep you're in. Sleep tracking in watchOS 9 uses signals from the accelerometer and heart rate sensor to detect when users are in REM, Core, or Deep sleep.

Users will see sleep stage data on Apple Watch in the Sleep app and can view more detailed information, like time asleep, alongside additional metrics, like heart rate and respiratory rate, in sleep comparison charts in the Health app on iPhone.

This information can be shared with your doctor. Image source: Apple.

watchOS 9 builds on atrial fibrillation notifications that the ECG app can detect. The Apple Watch will now be able to provide more context with a new feature called AFib history, which will help users keep an eye on and manage lifestyle factors that may influence their condition. They can also share this information with medical professionals.

Create your own customised medicine schedule. Image source: Apple.

A new Medications app in watchOS 9 will also make it easier to log medicines and set regular reminders to take specific medicine and vitamins. Users can create custom schedules whether they’re taken multiple times a day, once a week, or as needed.


A few more goodies

Enjoy a few more googies. Image source: Apple.

In addition to the previously mentioned features, notifications have been redesigned to be less interruptive, the dock has been redesigned, the reminders and calendar apps have been updated, and the QWERTY keyboard adds support for six more languages.


Read more from WWDC2022:

Apple MacBook Air (2022) packs Apple M2 chipset in its fanless, MagSafe-friendly design

Here are all the key Apple iOS 16 updates announced at WWDC 2022 

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