Apple watchOS 9: New features are available now

Watch out for these impressive new updates

The latest OS updates for your Apple iPhones and Watch are rolling out to everyone within the walled garden. Apple has truly stepped into the big leagues with the watchOS 9 and we are here to tell you why. Don’t be too shocked when you find out this watch can do everything from looking pretty to potentially saving your life. So let’s get down to it.

1) Watch Faces

Being the first thing you notice when you look at the watch, your watch face can say a lot about you as a person. Thus, the update now gives users the opportunity to express personal style while providing them with all the relevant information at a glance. Adding to the list of available faces are four new, more inclusive ones, Lunar, Playtime, Metropolitan and Astronomy. So, pretty simple, you can select a format that works for you and pleases your eye, more conveniently.

2) Workout App

The Workout app, arguably the most important and popular app on Apple Watch, has seen several updates to provide richer metrics for measuring performance, as well as new training experiences to help users reach fitness goals. Making Workout Views easier to read and focusing on Heart Rate Zones, which can be manually created or automatically calculated using personalized Health data to help monitor the intensity of a workout.

New alerts, including pace, power, heart rate, and cadence, can be added to guide users throughout the workout through Custom Workouts and now adding Interval training as an option.

Apple has kept triathletes in mind while designing the new Multisport workout mode that automatically switches between any sequence of swimming, biking, and running workouts, by recognizing movement patterns. You also receive an in-depth summary and analysis with interactive charts after your workout.

3) Running

With new running form metrics, including Stride Length, Ground Contact Time, and Vertical Oscillation, Apple Watch has made up serious ground as a runner's watch. A new pacer experience provides runners with exact metrics to achieve their specific goal and provides alerts during the workout to help them stick to it.

4) Swimming

Swimmers can now track their efficiency with a SWOLF score, a stroke count and kickboard detection. All have been added as a new stroke type for Pool Swim workouts. So you don't need to fidget with your watch during your swim.

5) Apple Fitness+

The fitness and wellness service, Apple Fitness+ with watchOS 9, now displays on-screen guidance in addition to trainer coaching to help users get the most out of workouts, including Intensity for HIIT, Cycling, Rowing, and Treadmill. Strokes per Minute (SPM) for Rowing; Revolutions per Minute (RPM) for Cycling; and Incline for walkers and runners in Treadmill. 

Those without Apple TV can now use AirPlay to stream on any device, allowing them to train anywhere, anytime.

6) Sleep Insights

Apple Watch can now detect when users are in REM, Core, or Deep sleep. Users are encouraged to track their sleep schedules and will be able to see sleep stage data on Apple Watch in the Sleep app for more detailed information, like time asleep, alongside additional metrics, like heart rate and respiratory rate, in sleep comparison charts in the Health app on iPhone.

7) Heart Health

Currently, using the ECG app and irregular rhythm notification, the Apple Watch can identify potential signs of atrial fibrillation (AFib), a leading condition that can result in a stroke.

With watchOS 9, users who are diagnosed with AFib can turn on the FDA-cleared AFib History feature and access important information to gain deeper insights into their condition. Users will also receive weekly notifications to understand the frequency and view a detailed history in the Health app, including lifestyle factors that may influence AFib, like sleep, alcohol consumption, and exercise, which can be downloaded as a PDF for doctors.

8) Keeping track of Medications

The new Medications experience on Apple Watch and iPhone is created to help users stay on top of their prescriptions by helping manage and track their medications, vitamins, and supplements. You can create a medications list, set up custom schedules and reminders, and view information on their medications in the Health app.