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watchOS 9 — next level upgrades might be featured


Although the upcoming Apple Watch notification upgrade appears to be small, it actually means a lot.

(Image credit: Apple)

As the watchOS 9 public beta is about to start, I’m getting ready to test out all the new features for the Apple Watch. The public beta of watchOS 9 won’t launch on a specific date, although most indications are that it will happen shortly.

There are several improvements watchOS 9 will bring to the finest smartwatch, but one in particular has me more thrilled than the others. This change, which affects how users will see notifications on their wrist, is relatively small in comparison to the significant updates to the Apple Watch Workout app, improved sleep tracking features, and selection of new watch faces.


I love and loathe the notifications animations on my Apple Watch right now. On the one hand, they are audible enough that I never wonder which app is alerting me when. On the other side, the notifications fill the entire screen, which is annoying while I’m using my Apple Watch to view something else.

I’ve figured out how to maximize the notifications feature in iOS 15 by using Focus mode and carefully selecting which apps can send push alerts to my Apple Watch. But watchOS 9 offers slimline notification banners rather than full-screen alerts, which will solve many Apple Watch notifications issues.

This implies that when you receive a notice while already looking at your wrist, a little banner will appear at the top of your Apple Watch’s display. This notification style won’t interfere with what you’re currently doing on your Apple Watch, whether it’s reviewing your workout data, obtaining the forecast for the day, or figuring out how much to tip the waiter. This is similar to how notifications function on iPhone and iPad.


watchOS 9 notification upgrade — why it matters

I firmly believe that the Apple Watch will eventually become autonomous. I can do and see more on my wrist with the larger Apple Watch 7 sizes. The next-generation device’s user experience should be improved by watchOS 9’s new slimline notification banners, assuming the Apple Watch 8’s design is identical to the Apple Watch 7’s.

Furthermore, the Apple Watch Series 3, the final Apple Watch model to maintain the original 38mm and 42mm sizes, is not listed among the watchOS 9 compatible devices. The larger screens are definitely being utilized by a number of recent and appealing Apple Watch updates.

In instances where you can use your Apple Watch in the same way you use a 6.1-inch phone, watchOS 9 makes it clear that the Apple Watch is adopting the iPhone’s fundamental functionality. The ability to continue using an app while receiving alerts is a little improvement that has more effects than you may expect.


Watch this space for reports on how and whether the slimline notification banners affect how I use my Apple Watch when the watchOS 9 public beta launches. You should go follow the Tom’s Guide TikTok account if you haven’t already, as we’ll be showcasing a lot of the new watchOS 9, iOS 16, and iPadOS 16 features there.

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