In addition to iOS 16, iPad OS 16, and macOS 13 Ventura, Apple also showcased watchOS 9 at WWDC 2022. There are new sports and health features, including sleep tracking, revised apps, and new watch faces. A developer beta is now available, the general launch will be in the fall as usual.
The focus is on health and fitness again
The biggest innovations are in the field of sports and health. Improved sleep monitoring should be able to recognize movements via the heart rate on the one hand, and different sleep phases on the other, thanks to machine learning. On the one hand, this gives users detailed insight into their own sleeping behavior, on the other hand, sleeping times and alarm clocks can be adjusted accordingly. In addition, there is a new meditation app that is intended to help with dosing and taking medication in a timely manner. For now, only in the US, watchOS 9 continues to monitor for complications when combining ingested medications.
Apple also advertises more accurate detection of atrial fibrillation as potentially life-saving. watchOS 9 aims to track and store critical heart events over time to aid doctors in diagnosis and treatment — but only in the US for now. The training app has also been revised. For example, information such as stride length or ground contact information should be displayed while running. Also new are the support of heart rate zones and the possibility to create interval training, for example, to receive a notification if a measured value is exceeded or not reached. For activities like a triathlon, where different sports take place, watchOS 9 should recognize them automatically.
New watch faces and many other little things
In addition, there are four new watch faces in watchOS 9. There is a lunar calendar, a redesigned astronomical watch face, a classic design with Metropolitan, and the playful watch face, PlayTime, created in collaboration with artist Joi Fultion. The Podcasts, Reminders, and Calendar apps, as well as Banner Notifications and Siri, have also been reworked — both would take up less space. watchOS 9 is supported starting with the Apple Watch Series 4, which was released in late 2018.
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