Apple WatchOS 9 (2022): New Features, How to Download, Compatibility

If you could have an iPhone, the Apple Watch is much and away the best fitness tracker. The solely draw back maybe (apart from the battery life) is that Apple’s well being software program has traditionally been considerably missing. It’s not unusual to see Apple Watch customers instantly switch their knowledge to extra helpful and simply actionable software program, like Strava or Nike Run Club. But that might all change with a complete host of latest health options debuting in WatchOS 9. 

If options like measuring stride size and vertical oscillation work as meant, they might simply flip the Apple Watch into the best running watch and greatest look ahead to endurance athletes, interval. That’s as well as to a complete host of brand-new features on the new Series 8, resembling crash detection and a physique temperature sensor that can assist individuals who need to turn into pregnant observe their fertility. Here, we break down all the highest new options in WatchOS 9. Don’t overlook to take a look at our Best Apple Watch and the Best Apple Watch Accessories guides for extra. 

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Is Your Apple Watch Compatible?

Will your watch have the option to obtain WatchOS 9? The following fashions are suitable:

  • Apple Watch Series 4
  • Apple Watch Series 5
  • Apple Watch SE (2020)
  • Apple Watch Series 6
  • Apple Watch Series 7
  • Apple Watch SE (2022)
  • Apple Watch Series 8
  • Apple Watch Ultra

You’ll additionally want an iPhone with assist for iOS 16, which incorporates the iPhone 8 (2017) or later. You can take a look at our iOS 16 features roundup for directions on how to obtain the brand new OS in your handset.

How to Install WatchOS 9

You can set up WatchOS 9 with both your iPhone or your Apple Watch. Whichever technique you select, you may need to ensure that your iPhone is related to Wi-Fi and working iOS 16, and that your Apple Watch battery is at 50 p.c (at the very least). You’ll even have to ensure that your watch and iPhone are subsequent to one another, to hold them in vary.

To replace your watch utilizing your iPhone, open the Apple Watch App and faucet on the My Watch tab. Then faucet General > Software Update and Download. From there, you may see a progress wheel in your Apple Watch indicating the replace has begun. If you select to set up an replace straight on the Apple Watch, you may have to ensure that the watch is related to Wi-Fi. Then open the Settings app in your watch and faucet General > Software Update > Install

It can take up to an hour to set up WatchOS 9, so be sure you will not want to entry your smartwatch throughout that point. If you do want it, you possibly can select to replace your Apple Watch in a single day as a substitute. When you obtain a notification that the brand new OS is obtainable to obtain, faucet the Update Tonight choice. Then in your iPhone, affirm that you really want to replace your watch in a single day. Before you go to mattress, ensure that each your iPhone and Apple Watch are charging all through the evening.

Health and Fitness Features

Photograph: Apple

There are various enhancements to the Apple Watch’s well being and health apps. Here’s the lowdown. 

Better Workout Views

Photograph: Apple

To higher optimize your exercises, Apple up to date its Workout app to present extra stats, and you may rotate the Digital Crown to cycle by way of totally different views like Heart Rate Zones, Activity Rings, and Power and Elevation. You’ll even have the choice to construct Custom Workouts full with work and relaxation intervals, together with alerts for coronary heart fee, tempo, energy, and cadence whereas understanding.

Compass App 

Photograph: Apple

The redesigned Compass app now has a hybrid view that features each the easy analog compass that reveals course and bearing, plus a brand new digital one. Turning the crown reveals related navigational data, resembling latitude, longitude, elevation, and incline. It additionally contains new orienteering options, like Waypoints and Backtrack. Tap the Waypoint icon to place a marker on a focal point. Backtrack makes use of GPS knowledge to present the consumer the place they have been in the event that they turn into disoriented and wish to flip round. 

In-Depth Running Metrics

Anyone who makes use of an Apple Watch whereas working can be glad to know which you can now observe new metrics like Ground Contact Time, Stride Length, and Vertical Oscillation—all of which might help enhance your type. You can add them to your Workout Views, or view them within the Fitness app abstract in addition to the Health app (the Fitness app is lastly available for iPhones as of iOS 16). You’ll additionally have the option to see tendencies and patterns over time.

Fitness+ Features

Photograph: Apple

If you’ve been streaming your Fitness+ exercises to a second display screen (like your TV) utilizing AirPlay as a substitute of Apple TV, you’ll lastly have the option to see your coronary heart fee, energy, and Burn Bar in real-time on the show (if it is suitable). Speaking of metrics, there’s additionally a brand new “trainer callouts” characteristic integrated into your stats—with phrases like “Hard” and “All Out!”—to assist you to push your depth ranges whereas exercising. 

Sleep Stages

Photograph: Apple

Sleep monitoring now reveals totally different sleep phases. Leveraging the guts fee sensor and accelerometer, your smartwatch will establish whenever you’re in REM, Core, and Deep sleep. You can verify this knowledge every morning utilizing the Sleep app on the watch. A extra detailed breakdown that features issues like time asleep, coronary heart fee and respiratory fee, and sleep comparability charts will sync to the Health app.

Log Your Medications

Photograph: Apple

In iOS 16, the Health app now incorporates a new Medications tab. You can use it to log drugs, create schedules, and set reminders. Those reminders will then seem in your Apple Watch (and your iPhone), with the power to log the second you are taking them by tapping the notification in your watch.

Track Your AFib History

Photograph: Apple

If you’ve got been recognized with atrial fibrillation, now you can allow the AFib History characteristic for a weekly replace on deeper insights pertaining to your situation. You can see an estimate of how usually your coronary heart rhythm reveals indicators of AFib and the way different elements resembling train, sleep, and alcohol influence your AFib. You can entry an in depth historical past by way of the Health app too—with the choice to obtain a PDF to give to your main care doctor. According to Apple, the characteristic has “received a number of local clearances and approvals from health authorities around the world, and will be available in more than 100 countries and territories, including the US, Canada, Europe, Hong Kong, Mexico, South Africa, the UK, and more.” It can be out there in Australia later this fall.

Temperature Sensing (Series 8 and Ultra Only)

Photograph: Apple

With a two-sided temperature sensor—one on the again of the smartwatch shut to your pores and skin and one underneath the show—the Apple Watch Series 8 packs a brand new characteristic that may assist detect adjustments in your physique relying in your temperature. While asleep, it could measure your wrist temperature to detect any variations to your baseline temperature that may be attributable to one thing resembling sickness or exhaustion. If you observe your interval utilizing the Health app, you may obtain “retrospective ovulation estimates” to assist with household planning and enhance interval predictions. 

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