Apple has announced watchOS 9. This Apple Watch operating system will receive new health features, such as improved sleep tracking and the ability to track medication use. WatchOS 9 will be available for the Apple Watch later this year.
apple provides watchOS 9 of various renewed watch faces. For example, the existing Astronomy watchface is upgraded for the larger screen of the Series 7. Apple is also introducing a Lunar face that shows the position of the moon and a Metropolitan watch face with a font that can be customized with the digital crown. In addition, the smartwatch operating system gets new complications, actively used apps are displayed higher in the new dock and there is a new interface for Siri.
The Workouts app is also getting several new features. Apple is adding new stats for running, such as measuring the user’s posture via the accelerometer and gyroscope, in addition to stride length and “ground contact time.” The app also gets “heart rate zones,” which allow users to better monitor the intensity of their workout. There’s also a new triathlon workout, which automatically switches between swimming, running and cycling.
WatchOS and the Health app on iOS are also getting a medication feature that will allow users to track their medication use. In addition, users receive notifications when they have to take their medicines. According to Apple, users can scan the labels of their medications through an iPhone to add them to the Health app. The same app will also warn users about dangerous drug interactions. This makes it possible to share that medication data with other Apple users. The company will occasionally remind users which health data they share with others.
Furthermore, the sleep tracking feature of watchOS is improved. From watchOS 9, the feature distinguishes between different sleep stages, such as deep sleep and REM sleep. The company also says it’s getting more “heart health” features. The company’s Apple Watch can already scan for atrial fibrillation, a heart condition. With watchOS 9, the smartwatch also gets functions to better track that condition for people with a diagnosis.
The Health app therefore shows an overview of when the condition occurs most often, along with lifestyle factors that can influence the condition, such as exercise, sleep and alcohol consumption. Apple expects to receive FDA approval for that feature ‘soon’. It is unknown if or when the feature will come to other regions.
Furthermore, Apple is releasing the Fitness app for all iPhones. That feature is currently only available to iOS users with an Apple Watch. In the future, users will be able to get an ‘estimation’ of their movement via their iPhone’s sensors in this app.
WatchOS 9 is expected this fall, along with the introduction of the next Apple Watch model. The operating system works on the Apple Watch Series 4 and newer, eliminating support for the Series 3. WatchOS 9 also requires an iPhone with iOS 16; that mobile OS works on iPhone 8 and newer.