watchOS 9 Update Now Available for Apple Watch Series 4 and Above Users: Brings Improved Sleep Tracking, Workout App Updates, and More

watchOS 9 update brings a bunch of new watch faces and tons of improvements.

Apple Watch Ultra

Apple started rolling out the iOS 16 stable version to all the eligible iPhones globally starting last night at 10:30 IST. The latest iteration of iOS was rolled out to 19 iPhone models. On the other hand, the company also started to push the watchOS 9 for eligible Apple Watch smartwatches.

The new and updated operating system for Apple Watch brings a bunch of new watch faces, an enhanced Workout app, sleep stages, a redesigned Compass app, and an all-new Medications app. Let’s take a look at all the new features, updates, enhancements, and a list of eligible smartwatches for watchOS 9. Let’s get started.

watchOS 9 Update Now Rolling Out: Eligible Devices

Apple is now rolling out the stable version of watchOS 9 for Apple Watch Series 4 or later paired with iPhone 8 or later and iPhone SE (2nd generation) or later, running iOS 16. This update is available as a free software update.

watchOS 9 Features

The watchOS 9 update brings a whole host of new features and updates to the watch operating system. Apple Watch gets more watch faces and complications to choose from. In terms of fitness, the updated Workout app now shows advanced metrics, views, and training experiences. The Sleep app includes sleep stages with a detailed breakdown. The new FDA-cleared AFib History feature provides deeper insights into a user’s condition. Lastly, the all-new Medications app makes it easy for users to conveniently and discreetly manage, understand, and track medications.

Updated Workout App

With watchOS 9, Apple has updated its Workout app to provide detailed metrics for measuring performance and new training experiences. The in-session display now uses the Digital Crown to rotate between easy-to-read Workout Views, allowing users to see important metrics for different training styles. Heart Rate Zones, utilising personalised Health data, can be used to monitor the intensity of a workout. For interval training, the Workout app introduces custom workouts, which can be used to create a structured workout that includes work and recovery intervals. New alerts, including pace, power, heart rate, and cadence, can be added to guide users throughout their workout.

The Workout app now supports a new Multisport workout type that automatically switches between any sequence of swimming, biking, and running workouts, using motion sensors to recognise movement patterns. There is also a redesigned summary page in the Fitness app on iPhone that offers additional details with interactive charts for a more precise analysis of all workouts. For runners, watchOS 9 brings more data and features to help track how efficiently users run. New running form metrics, including Stride Length, Ground Contact Time, and Vertical Oscillation, can all be added as metrics on Workout Views.

Sleep Tracking

Apple has added more insights with the introduction of sleep stages. Apple Watch will use signals from the accelerometer and heart rate sensor to estimate when users are in REM, Core, or Deep sleep, and when they are awake. Users will see sleep stage data on Apple Watch in the Sleep app and can view more detailed information.

AFib History

With watchOS 9, users who are diagnosed with AFib can turn on the AFib History feature and access important information, including an estimate of how frequently a user’s heart rhythm shows signs of AFib, providing deeper insights into their condition. Users can download a PDF with a detailed history of their AFib and lifestyle factors which can be shared with doctors and care providers for more informed conversations.

Medications

Apple is also introducing a new Medications app which will help users to manage and track medications, vitamins, and supplements, allowing them to create a medications list, set up schedules and reminders, and view the information in the Health app. The app makes it easy for users to conveniently and discreetly track medications anytime, anywhere. Users can set custom schedules multiple times a day, once a week, or as needed, and users can set up reminders to help keep them on track.

Other Features

  • Cycle Tracking users can now receive a notification if their logged cycle history shows a possible deviation, such as irregular, infrequent, or prolonged periods, and persistent spotting.
  • When a user’s iPhone is locked with a passcode, Touch ID, or Face ID, all of their health and fitness data in the Health app (except Medical ID) is encrypted.
  • Low Power Mode to extend battery life and offers core Apple Watch features like Activity tracking and Fall Detection while disabling or limiting select sensors and features like background heart rate monitoring and the Always-On display.
  • Support for International roaming plans.
  • Redesigned notifications with new slimline banners.
  • Quick Actions, Apple Watch Mirroring, updated Calendar app
  • QWERTY keyboard on Apple Watch Series 7, Apple Watch Series 8, and Apple Watch Ultra support for French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish (Mexico, Spain, Latin America).

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Srivatsa is a freelance writer at MySmartPrice. He likes to write and talk about Smartphones, Android, Cricket, and more. He has previously worked at TechRadar and AndroidPolice.