WatchOS 9 will bring a slew of new features and improvements to the Apple Watch.
The speculated Apple Watch 8 is expected to include many of the same capabilities as the current Apple Watch models, so current owners will be able to take advantage of these updates and more.
But even if nothing was revealed regarding the next Apple Watch release date or other facts about impending Apple Watch wearables, there is much to be said about a better software platform. One of the reasons the Apple Watch is the finest smartwatch year after year is because of watchOS, a crucial pillar of Apple’s wearable experience.
To help you prepare for when watchOS 9 goes live, we’ve compiled a handy guide that includes information on what devices are supported, which watchOS 9 features are currently in beta, and what this means for Apple Watch 8.
If you’d want to learn more about the new WatchOS 9 feature I’m most excited about, go here.
watchOS 9 cheat sheet: top new Apple Watch features
- Four new Apple Watch faces
- Added running metrics
- Track heart rate zones while working out
- Atrial fibrillation history for those diagnosed with AFib
- Support for six new keyboard languages
- Sleep Stages tracking added to Sleep app
- Family Setup adds HomeKit support
- Notifications for medication management with new Medications app
- Slimline notification banners
- Redesigned Calendar app
- Redesigned Dock
- New Quick Actions with AssistiveTouch
watchOS 9 release date
There’s no official word on when watchOS 9 will be available. New watchOS versions are normally released at the same time as Apple’s new smartwatch is unveiled in the autumn.
Beta versions of watchOS 9 are expected to be made accessible to both developers and the general public before the final product is released. Beginning on Friday, June 6, the developer version will be accessible; the general public version will be made available in July. As a point of reference, on July 1, 2021, the first public beta of watchOS 8 was released.
watchOS 9 supported devices — which Apple Watch models will be compatible?
Apple threw us a surprise when it came to watchOS 9 compatible devices. Even if nothing else, we were certain that the Apple Watch 7 and Watch SE will get watchOS 9. Even though it’s still available new from Apple, the Apple Watch 3 isn’t eligible for the yearly upgrade.
Otherwise, watchOS 9 will be available to owners of the Apple Watch 4, Apple Watch 5, and Apple Watch 6. It’s also worth noting that the most recent watchOS will be available for free. Updates to Apple software are free.
watchOS 9 new watch faces
Although this may seem like a lot, there are really four new watch faces in watchOS 9. There’s also a pre-modern calendar option, such as an Islamic calendar, available on the Lunar watch face.
Artist Joy Fulton’s dynamic digital clock (opens in new tab) and the Metropolitan watch face, which incorporates typography with lettering that extends and several color variations, round out the collection.
Not only that, but a growing number of watch faces also have the opportunity to add complications and pin favorite applications. Portrait now includes support for animals such as dogs and cats.
watchOS 9 running and other workout features
The top running watches can’t hold a candle to the Apple Watch when it comes to performance. It’s now easier than ever to keep track of your running progress thanks to a slew of new running measures. In addition to segments, splits, elevation, and the other typical metrics, the new live workout interface also displays measures such as vertical oscillation, stride length, and ground contact time.
Heart rate zones are being added to Apple Watch exercise monitoring. In order to get an idea of how hard you’re working (and how well you’re recuperating) when exercising, it’s a good idea to monitor your heart rate zones.
Your heart rate zones will be taken into consideration while using the new Custom workout tool. A tailored workout may give your run structure by sending heart rate and distance signals to your wrist. As part of your training, you’ll run with a power goal, or a range of effort that you can maintain. You can automatically compare your performance over time on a route if you run it frequently enough on your Apple Watch.
Finally, a new sort of Multisport training will aid triathletes by seamlessly switching between swimming, riding, and running.
watchOS 9 sleep cycles
Since its first release two years ago, Apple Watch sleep monitoring has become steadily more accurate. The Sleep app has been updated to provide sleep stage or cycle monitoring in watchOS 9. If the accelerometer and heart rate monitor are working properly, the Apple Watch should be able to tell you what stage of sleep you’re currently in. Moment spent in each stage of sleep may be shown, as well as the time you woke up.
A new sleep stage data collection option is available in the Research app as part of Apple’s ongoing Heart and Movement Study.
watchOS 9 AFib History
Atrial fibrillation, or abnormal heartbeats, may now be detected on the Apple Watch 4 or later (except the Apple Watch SE). These patients may now check their ECGs to discover how frequently they are in AFib and how long they have been in the condition. It’s also possible to see whether other habits or activities have an effect on AFib with the Health app. In addition, customers may now share their AFib History data with their physicians, adding on the medical sharing option released only last year.
watchOS 9 Medications app
With the release of the new Medications app, Apple Watch owners will be able to keep track of and manage their drug regimens from the comfort of their wrist. As a reminder to take medicine, Apple Watch users may get alerts or reminders through notifications in the Health app.
An alert will appear in the Health app if there are any drug interactions or any important problems with the meds you’re taking. If you have a caregiver or family who monitors your medicine, they have access to your records.
watchOS 9 — what does it mean for Apple Watch 8?
What can watchOS 9 tell us about the Apple Watch 8’s capabilities? The short answer is: not much. However, we can get a sense of Apple’s plans based on the watchOS 9 software.
This year’s software update shows that Apple is prioritizing health and wellbeing, so it’s probable the Apple Watch 8 may have an additional health sensor.