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Apple today announced watchOS 9 for the Apple Watch, which will include more watch face options with more in-depth customization options, updates to notifications, new features in the Workout app, and more.

watchos-9-image.jpg

Similar to iOS 16's new lock screen, the new watch faces in watchOS 9 let users personally style each face. There are four new faces: Lunar, Playtime, Metropolitan, and Astronomy; classic watch faces have been updated as well to showcase enhanced depth effects of watchOS 9.

In regards to specific apps, the Workout app has been updated with more detailed metrics for measuring performance and a new training experience to help you reach your fitness goals. You can see different Workout Views by rotating the Digital Crown, changing between different training styles during a workout.

Heart Rate Zones help monitor the intensity of a workout, and Custom Workouts allow for work and rest intervals throughout a workout. Additionally, new alerts include pace, power, heart rate, cadence, and more, can be added to guide you through the workout.

watchos-9-image-2.jpg

Runners will be able to track metrics like stride length, ground contact time, and vertical oscillation. These appear in the Fitness app summary and in the Health app, allowing runners to track trends over time and learn from their patterns.

Frequently used routes allow runners to race against their own ghost times, including their best or last results, and receive alerts during the run for being ahead or behind their ghost. Lastly, there are a few updates to swimming workouts, like kickboard detection as a new stroke type.

watchos-9-sleep.jpg

Apple Watch will now be able to track more sleep insights with the new sleep stages feature. Using signals from the accelerometer and heart rate sensor, watchOS 9 can detect when users are in REM, Core, or Deep sleep. All of these stats will be available in the Sleep app upon waking up.

Anyone diagnosed with AFib can use the new AFib History feature in watchOS 9 to access important information. This includes an estimate of how frequently a user's heart rhythm shows signs of AFib, and more, and this feature has been cleared by the FDA.

watchos-9-meds.jpg

Next, there's a new Medications experience on watchOS 9 and iOS 16 that can track a user's medications, vitamins, and supplements. They can create a medications list, set up schedules and reminders, and view information on their meds in the Health app.

The Health app tracks all of the medications, and can even alert users if it sees potential critical interactions between two meds that were added (for people in the United States). Otherwise, it'll let users create schedules to remind themselves to take their meds.

Other watchOS 9 updates:

  • Notifications have been redesigned to be less interruptive, similar to iOS 16.
  • Family Setup now supports the Home app, letting kids be invited to control Home accessories.
  • Quick Actions let users do even more with a double-pinch gesture, like ending a phone call or taking a photo.
  • Apple Watch Mirroring helps users with physical and motor disabilities control Apple Watch via iPhone.
  • QWERTY keyboard adds support for French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese (Brazil), and Spanish (Mexico, Spain, Latin America).
  • Redesigned Dock features apps that are actively in use ahead of others.
  • Reminders app lets users add or edit key details like dates and time.
  • Calendar app lets users create new events directly on Apple Watch.
  • Cardio Recovery tracks cardiovascular health after walks and runs.
watchOS 9 is now available as a developer beta to Apple Developer Program members, and a public beta will arrive next month. It'll launch to the public this fall as a free software update for Apple Watch Series 4 or later, paired with iPhone 8 or later and iPhone SE (second-gen) or later, running iOS 16.

Article Link: Apple Announces watchOS 9 With Updated Watch Faces, Enhanced Fitness and Sleep Tracking Features, More
 
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RiverPhoenixx

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Oct 1, 2012
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Is Apple ever going to fix the issue with the messages complication/watch app not displaying group iMessages properly?
 
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Feyl

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Aug 24, 2013
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Indeed. Work from home is killing this company.
Very much agree, but to be honest... Apple has lost it’s magic years ago. Not to mention that their keynotes went from fun, engaging and informative to a snooze fest that one could get only from Microsoft or Google. I’m glad that I had the honor to use Apple products while Steve Jobs was there. Those were truly magical times. I know it’s annoying to say this but it’s true.
 

jk73

macrumors 65816
Jul 19, 2012
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Very much agree, but to be honest... Apple has lost it’s magic years ago. Not to mention that their keynotes went from fun, engaging and informative to a snooze fest that one could get only from Microsoft or Google. I’m glad that I had the honor to use Apple products while Steve Jobs was there. Those were truly magical times. I know it’s annoying to say this but it’s true.

The current product line would be awesome if "it just works" was still true. I don't care about 80 new emojis. I just want software quality control back at Jobs-era levels.
 

xDKP

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Feb 27, 2011
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They finally made this into a decent running watch. I am STILL waiting for the ability to earn and use rest days.

My absolute biggest positive of the entire show, was the running focus! This is without a doubt the biggest update to the workout app since Watch S0 by far! I’ve been waiting SO LONG for the intervals and “beat your best” etc!
 
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Stiksi

macrumors 6502
Dec 7, 2007
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The current product line would be awesome if "it just works" was still true. I don't care about 80 new emojis. I just want software quality control back at Jobs-era levels.
While I agree that they should work way harder on stability and bug hunting, every OS X version after Tiger was a bug fest until about halfway through the cycle. After Snow Leopard I started only upgrading to the last version of an OS before the next name change. Works like a charm.
 

Feyl

Cancelled
Aug 24, 2013
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The current product line would be awesome if "it just works" was still true. I don't care about 80 new emojis. I just want software quality control back at Jobs-era levels.
That's right. To me Apple seems extremely lazy and comfortable. I don't care about emojis either and I just don't get the obsession with them. It's very apparent that Apple is focusing too much on hardware and software is left behind even though it's the soul of any device.
 

gorkt

macrumors 6502a
Sep 15, 2007
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Yeah most of the WWDC is me going "Well there goes Autosleep", "Well there goes Intervals".
 

kc9hzn

macrumors 68000
Jun 18, 2020
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Again nothing that made me go wow, this wwdc is getting worse by the min, this is embarrassing
I actually think that watchOS 9 looks like a pretty solid update. Nothing groundbreaking, perhaps, but a bunch of optimizations. I’m honestly pretty glad that we’re finally getting non-modal notifications, it can be pretty annoying to be glancing at something on your watch (maybe even just the time) and have a notification come in and take up the whole screen.

Also, that Metropolitan watch face looks like another great choice in the “watch faces that feel like classic watch faces” camp.
 
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gorkt

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Sep 15, 2007
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I feel like a lot of the WWDC can be summed up as "giving people things they have been asking for for awhile". It seems like more a community response update than "oh wow" updates where they give you something that you would never think of but is really a good idea.
 

kc9hzn

macrumors 68000
Jun 18, 2020
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I feel like a lot of the WWDC can be summed up as "giving people things they have been asking for for awhile". It seems like more a community response update than "oh wow" updates where they give you something that you would never think of but is really a good idea.
I feel like the Apple Watch is pretty mature, at least in Apple’s eyes. It’s hard to see where Apple would take it from a user interface change perspective, and the fitness (or even casual fitness) and glanceable information focus feels like it’s a pretty good fit for such a small screen on your wrist. Like, I wouldn’t want Apple to change the home screen on the watch so that it shows the app carousel by default instead of the time. Maybe having the ability to show certain watch faces at certain times of day may be nice? (Wake up in the morning, see the Siri face giving you an overview of the day. Get ready for your morning workout and it changes to a fitness interface. Get ready to start your commute to work, and it shows an interface with a focus on navigation apps. Get to work, and it shows a distraction free display. And so on like that, it could even use a focus feature similar to the iPhone, and you could set up specific watch faces for specific focuses.)

Apart from that, I don’t use a whole lot of apps on my watch, but the ones I do use are invaluable. For instance, I have an app that uses my location to show me the upcoming arrival schedule at the subway station I’m at. I don’t use it every day since I’m still work from home, but it’s a brilliant app to have on my wrist when using the subway. And I get a lot of mileage out of health apps (and the health features), even as someone who isn’t a serious athlete but is just trying to live a healthier life. It’s hard to see how Apple could change all that for the better, especially without making it worse in some ways.
 
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kc9hzn

macrumors 68000
Jun 18, 2020
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Years pass, and I still fail to see any use for a smart watch in my life...
I mean, the fitness tracking features are pretty solid. If you’ve got a Fitbit or similar you seriously use, or if you use a heart rate strap when working out, an Apple Watch might not be worth much to you for fitness features alone. But even as just a casual participant in fitness activities, fitness tracking has a lot of appeal.

Apart from that, the bigger value it has for me is acting as a sieve for my notifications. If it comes to my watch, it’s generally a lot more important than if it just arrives on my phone.
 
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