WatchOS 9: Apple brings new watch faces, enhanced health features
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WatchOS 9: Apple brings new watch faces, enhanced health features

By Tekato Longkumer Updated: Sep 13, 2022 1:48 pm
Apple WatchOS9 features and updates
WatchOS 9 brings new features, enhanced apps, and more personalization to Apple Watch. Source: Apple.

Apple on Monday released the new watchOS 9, bringing new features and enhanced experiences to the company’s latest wearable devices.

The company said that Apple Watch users will now have a wider choice of watch faces, with richer features offering more information and customisation.

The Cupertino-based tech giant wrote on its blog, “In the updated Workout app, advanced metrics, views, and training experiences inspired by high-performing athletes help users take their workouts to the next level.”

“The Sleep app includes sleep stages, and for users diagnosed with atrial fibrillation (AFib), the new FDA-cleared AFib History feature provides deeper insights into a user’s condition. The new Medications app makes it easy for users to conveniently and discreetly manage, understand, and track medications,” the company said.

New WatchOS 9 faces

WatchOS 9 comes with four new watch faces, including Lunar (representing the relationship between the Gregorian calendar and the lunar calendar), Playtime (designed in collaboration with artist Joi Fulton), Metropolitan (type-driven watch face that changes when you turn the digital knob) and Astronomy (an original watch face that has been redesigned to show current cloud data and a new star map).

Source: Apple.

The update brings improved and modernized complications to some of the most classic watch faces, such as Utility, Simple, and Activity Analog, as well as background colour corrections for Modular, Modular Compact, and X-Large for further customisation.

The Portraits face showcases the depth effect on more photos, including cats, dogs, and landscapes, while Chinese scripts have been added as options for California and Typograph watch faces.

“For the first time, any Apple Watch user running watchOS 9 — even those without a Nike model — will be able to access all the Nike watch faces, including the fresh colours coming to the Bounce face,” Apple said.

WatchOS 9 health and fitness features

The update brings new features to the Workout App to provide richer metrics for measuring performance, as well as new training experiences to help users reach their fitness goals. The familiar in-session display now lets you see more while working out. Users can just turn the Digital Crown for new views of metrics like Activity Rings, Heart Rate Zones, Power and Elevation.

Users can also customise their work and recovery intervals to suit their training style. You can receive alerts for pace, heart rate, cadence and power.

Apple watchOS 9 workout features
For triathletes and duathletes, the Workout app now supports a new Multisport workout type that automatically switches between any sequence of swimming, biking, and running workouts. Source: Apple.

For runners, the new watchOS 9 update brings Stride Length, Ground Contact Time, and Vertical Oscillation, which can all be added as metrics on Workout Views. These metrics appear in the Fitness app summary and in the Health app, where users can see trends over time and learn from patterns.

For swimmers, kickboard is now automatically detected as a new stroke type for Pool Swim workouts. Users can now track their SWOLF score for each set in the workout summary.

Compass, medications and sleep features

The update brings a redesigned Compass app featuring a hybrid view that includes both a simple analog compass showing direction and bearing, as well as a new digital compass. Turning the Digital Crown reveals an additional view that includes latitude, longitude, elevation, and incline, as well as an orienteering view showing Compass Waypoints and Backtrack. Compass Waypoints are a quick and convenient way to mark a location or point of interest directly in the app. And with Backtrack, you can return to where you came from by creating a path showing where you’ve been.

Apple watchOS 9 compass
The completely redesigned Compass app includes Waypoints, a quick and convenient way to mark a point of interest directly in the app. Source: Apple.

The medications app will now work in tandem with a user’s iPhone. Users can record medications, create schedules, set reminders on their iPhone and use the Apple Watch to log actions once they have taken the medicine.

Sleep tracking in watchOS 9 provides even more insights with the introduction of sleep stages. You can now see how much time you spent in REM, Core or Deep sleep, as well as when you might have woken up. Sleep comparison charts in the updated Health app on iPhone will let you see metrics like heart rate and respiratory rate.

WatchOS 9 compatible models

The new watchOS 9 requires iPhone 8 or later with iOS 16 or later and one of the following Apple Watch models:

  • Apple Watch Series 4
  • Apple Watch Series 5
  • Apple Watch SE
  • Apple Watch Series 6
  • Apple Watch Series 7
  • Apple Watch Series 8
  • Apple Watch Ultra
By Tekato Longkumer Updated: Sep 13, 2022 1:48:34 pm