Apple has just unveiled watchOS 9 as part of its WWDC line-up and it’ll carry tons of new features for Apple Watch users.
As the next generation of the Apple Watch UI, watchOS 9 looks to improve the core experience with several updates to various major apps whilst also introducing entirely new apps to the ecosystem.
To know more about what’s in store for Apple Watch users in watchOS 9, take a look below.
When is watchOS 9 available?
As is typical with Apple software releases, you can’t download the new stuff right away. Initially, they’ll be a developer period, where registered devs can get to grips with the new features and make use of the new APIs. Expect a full release later this year, likely alongside the Apple Watch 8.
watchOS 9 features
Heart rate zones
Taking a cue from the likes of Garmin and Myzone, the Apple Watch will soon be able to show you heart rate zones during a workout. This will let you know if you’re underperforming during a specific workout, or reaching a BPM rate that’s too high and needs to be brought down.
For cardiovascular activities, the heart rate zones could be quite handy for allowing you to stay within the regions of your performance levels, without overexerting yourself and risking injury.
Working in tandem with the new heart rate zones, it’ll soon be possible to create custom workouts on the Apple Watch. These bespoke workouts will allow you to set specific goals including distance and performance, so that the Apple Watch can let you know mid-workout if you’re hitting the goals you’ve set.
For regular running routes, the Apple Watch will also be able to register your previous performance and let you race against yourself in the hopes of reaching a new personal best.
Giving users a means of tracking their intake of medications, vitamins and supplements, the new medications app will let you digitise your prescriptions.
In addition to providing reminders for when you need to take any ongoing medication, the app (which will also be available on iOS) will let you know of any drug-drug interactions where conflicting medications might work to dampen the effects of one another.
New watch faces
As we anticipated, Apple will be introducing several new watch faces as part of watchOS 9. This collection includes wholly new designs as well as updates to existing watch faces.
For example, it’ll soon be possible to use pictures of dogs and cats in the portraits watch face, and background colours can now be added to watch faces that would previously only let you have a black background.
Apple will finally be bringing a much needed update to the Apple Watch’s sleep tracking, bringing in sleep stages to give users a better insight into their circadian rhythm. These sleep stages will break down the REM, Core, Deep and Awake portions of your sleep.
For any folks suffering from atrial fibriliations, the new AFib History tool will let you know how irregular your heart beat as been over the last week, letting you know of any improvements or deteriorations.
This is a developing story with more information to follow…