Apple watchOS 9 released: New watch faces, Medications app, AFib History feature and more

Apple watchOS 9 update: After iOS 16 roll out, the US-based tech giant Apple on Tuesday launched the latest watchOS 9 for Apple Watches. The new watchOS 9 brings new features and enhanced experiences to the world’s leading wearable operating system. It has new watch faces, an enhanced Workout app, sleep stages, a first-of-its-kind AFib History feature, a redesigned Compass app, an all-new Medications app and more.

WatchOS 9 Availability

Apple watchOS 9 is available as a free software update starting today for Apple Watch Series 4 or later paired with iPhone 8 or later and iPhone SE (2nd generation) or later, running iOS 16. Some features may not be available in all regions or all languages, or with all makes and models.

watchOS 9 update

Apple Watch users now have more watch faces to choose from, with richer complications that provide more information and opportunity for personalisation. In the updated Workout app, advanced metrics, views, and training experiences inspired by high-performing athletes help users take their workouts to the next level.

The Sleep app includes sleep stages, and for users diagnosed with atrial fibrillation (AFib), the new FDA-cleared AFib History feature provides deeper insights into a user’s condition. The new Medications app makes it easy for users to conveniently and discreetly manage, understand, and track medications.

watchOS 9 introduces four new faces: Lunar, which depicts the relationship between the Gregorian calendar and lunar calendar, used in many cultures such as Chinese, Hebrew, and Islamic; Playtime, a dynamic piece of art that’s unique to Apple Watch and created in collaboration with artist Joi Fulton; Metropolitan, a classic, type-driven watch face where the style changes as the Digital Crown is turned; and Astronomy, an original face that has been completely remastered and features a new star map and current cloud data.

Focus now allows users to select an Apple Watch face to automatically appear when they start a specific Focus on iPhone, such as the Photos face during a Personal Focus, helping users stay in the moment. Apple Watch Series 8 shows the Lunar watch faceLunar depicts the relationship between the Gregorian calendar and the lunar calendar.

The Workout app, one of the most popular apps on Apple Watch, has been updated to provide richer metrics for measuring performance, as well as new training experiences to help users reach their fitness goals. Apple Watch Series 8 shows Heart Rate Zones in the Workout appIn the Workout app, Heart Rate Zones can now be used to monitor the intensity of a workout.

For triathletes and duathletes, 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 recognize movement patterns. There is also a redesigned summary page in the Fitness app on iPhone that offers additional details with interactive charts for more precise analysis of all workouts.

Three Apple Watch Series 8 devices shows different moments in a Multisport workout, including swimming, biking, and running.For triathletes and duathletes, the Workout app now supports a new Multisport workout type that automatically switches between any sequence of swimming, biking, and running workouts.

Apple Watch is already a powerful tool for runners, and 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. These metrics appear in the Fitness app summary and in the Health app, where users can see trends over time and learn from patterns.

Sleep tracking in watchOS 9 provides even more insights with the introduction of sleep stages. Using signals from the accelerometer and heart rate sensor, Apple Watch can 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, like time asleep, alongside additional metrics, like heart rate and respiratory rate, in sleep comparison charts in the Health app on iPhone.

With watchOS 9, users who are diagnosed with AFib can turn on the FDA-cleared 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 will also receive weekly notifications to understand frequency and view a detailed history in the Health app, including lifestyle factors that may influence AFib, like sleep, alcohol consumption, and exercise.

The new Medications experience on Apple Watch and iPhone helps users manage and track their medications, vitamins, and supplements, allowing them to create a medications list, set up schedules and reminders, and view information on their medications in the Health app.

The Medications app on Apple Watch makes it easy for users to conveniently and discreetly track medications anytime, anywhere. Custom schedules can be created for each medication, whether it needs to be taken multiple times a day, once a week, or as needed, and users can set up reminders to help keep them on track.

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