watchOS 9 is the major 2022 update for your Apple Watch. What are all the new features? And is it also suitable for your Apple Watch? Read more!
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watchOS 9 release date
Apple announced watchOS 9 during its WWDC keynote on Monday, June 6. All the new features and apps for the Watch were detailed here, but it was still unclear when the software would appear – only that it would be “available this fall”. But since the iPhone event on Wednesday, September 7, we know more.
The watchOS 9 release date was up Monday September 12. From that day on, you can download the update for free as soon as Apple makes it available. The update appeared at the same time as iOS 16, the major update for your iPhone. The new operating system of 2023 – watchOS 10 – is expected to be released in September.
watchOS 9 support
Which iWatches will get watchOS 9? You can see it in the list below.
Your Watch must also be paired with an iPhone with iOS 16. That means: at least an iPhone 8. watchOS 9 will already be installed by default on the new Apple Watch from 2022: the Apple Watch Series 8.
watchOS 9: Series 3 is missing
It can already be concluded from the list of supported Apple Watch models just mentioned: you can no longer update the Series 3 for the first time. Which we think is special, because until recently this Apple Watch was still for sale at Apple itself.
New watch faces…
For many people, it is the main reason to update to a new version of watchOS: new watch faces! Meet the brand new watchOS 9 watch faces: Playtime, Metropolitan and the Moon faces.
… And old dials with a new look
By popular demand, Apple has also polished up some old watch faces to better suit the larger screens of recent years.
- The Astronomy watch face has been completely revamped and now includes information about stars and clouds.
- You can add new and improved complications (mini apps) to many of the classic watch faces.
- You will soon be providing the Modular, Modular Compact and XL dials with a background color or color gradient.
- The Portrait watch face now also works with portraits of dogs and cats.
With the interim update watchOS 9.3, an extra watch face was added to the collection in January: Unity mosaic. In May, watchOS 9.5 also added a new Pride watch face.
A boost for your training
One of the most popular apps on the Apple Watch is Workout. Apple has undoubtedly shed some drops of sweat to update the app: these are the most striking innovations.
New Workout: Multisport
This year there is a new workout especially for triathletes: Multisport. It automatically switches between swimming, cycling and running activities. You don’t have to worry about it, because the app knows what you are doing based on the movements you make.
Race against the clock
watchOS 9 is very interesting for runners, because the Apple Watch gives you more insight into how efficiently you run. To start with, all kinds of data about your running technique are available: think of stride length, ground contact time and vertical oscillation. Your running ability is also measured. Or race against the best version of yourself: if you run a fixed route, your Apple Watch will report whether you are below or above your usual time. Cyclists can also race against themselves in this way.
Heart rate zones
The intensity of your training is best measured on the basis of heart rate zones. With watchOS 9 you don’t have to calculate it yourself – your watch already does this for you. You can also enter the zones manually. Whatever you choose: logical color coding shows you exactly in which zone you train and whether you can go a step further.
You can keep track of your medication use this year on both your iPhone and your Apple Watch. The app helps you manage, understand and track your medications. Your Apple Watch therefore also functions as a medicine alarm clock. And you will receive a signal if a new medication that you add does not mix well with medication that you are already taking.
The Ecg app has been helping you to detect an irregular heartbeat, or atrial fibrillation, for some time now. Have you been officially diagnosed with atrial fibrillation? Then you will benefit from the AFib history functions. Your Apple Watch then keeps track of how often the heart rhythm shows signs of atrial fibrillation, measured over a longer period of time. Note: This feature is initially only available in the United States.
For two years now, your Apple Watch has had a sleep monitor, but the readings have been somewhat superficial until now. watchOS 9 works with sleep stages, which give you a much deeper insight into your sleep. The accelerometer and heart rate monitor register which phases you go through at night: REM sleep, core sleep and deep sleep.
And not only your sleep is tracked, but also the time you are awake. Everything is neatly organized in the Health app on the iPhone, supplemented with information about your heart rate and breathing.
What is the latest Apple update?
Below you can see all (interim) watchOS 9 updates so far.
- October 24: watchOS 9.1
- December 13: watchOS 9.2. With the main function: racing against yourself.
- January 23, 2023: watchOS 9.3. With the most important function: a new watch face.
- March 27, 2023: watchOS 9.4. Mainly bug fixes and improvements.
- May 18, 2023: watchOS 9.5. With bug fixes, improvements and a new Pride watch face
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