If you’ve got an iPhone, the Apple Watch is much and away the best fitness tracker. The solely draw back maybe (in addition to 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 an entire host of latest health options debuting in WatchOS 9.
If options like measuring stride size and vertical oscillation work as supposed, they may simply flip the Apple Watch into the best running watch and greatest look ahead to endurance athletes, interval. That’s as well as to an entire host of brand-new features on the new Series 8, akin to crash detection and a physique temperature sensor that may assist individuals who need to change 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 find a way to obtain WatchOS 9? The following fashions are appropriate:
- 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 methodology you select, you may need to be certain your iPhone is related to Wi-Fi and operating iOS 16, and that your Apple Watch battery is at 50 p.c (a minimum of). You’ll even have to be certain your watch and iPhone are subsequent to one another, to preserve 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 immediately on the Apple Watch, you may have to be certain 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 to will not want to entry your smartwatch throughout that point. If you do want it, you’ll be able to select to replace your Apple Watch in a single day as a substitute. When you obtain a notification that the brand new OS is on the market to obtain, faucet the Update Tonight possibility. Then in your iPhone, verify that you really want to replace your watch in a single day. Before you go to mattress, be certain each your iPhone and Apple Watch are charging all through the night time.
Health and Fitness Features
There are quite a lot of enhancements to the Apple Watch’s well being and health apps. Here’s the lowdown.
Better Workout Views
To higher optimize your exercises, Apple up to date its Workout app to present extra stats, and you’ll rotate the Digital Crown to cycle by way of completely 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 charge, tempo, energy, and cadence whereas figuring out.
The redesigned Compass app now has a hybrid view that features each the straightforward analog compass that exhibits course and bearing, plus a brand new digital one. Turning the crown exhibits related navigational info, akin to 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 person the place they have been in the event that they change into disoriented and wish to flip round.
In-Depth Running Metrics
Anyone who makes use of an Apple Watch whereas operating might be glad to know which you can now observe new metrics like Ground Contact Time, Stride Length, and Vertical Oscillation—all of which will help enhance your kind. 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 find a way to see traits and patterns over time.
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 find a way to see your coronary heart charge, energy, and Burn Bar in real-time on the show (if it is appropriate). Speaking of metrics, there’s additionally a brand new “trainer callouts” function integrated into your stats—with phrases like “Hard” and “All Out!”—to assist you push your depth ranges whereas exercising.
Sleep monitoring now exhibits completely different sleep phases. Leveraging the center charge sensor and accelerometer, your smartwatch will establish while you’re in REM, Core, and Deep sleep. You can test this knowledge every morning utilizing the Sleep app on the watch. A extra detailed breakdown that features issues like time asleep, coronary heart charge and respiratory charge, and sleep comparability charts will sync to the Health app.
Log Your Medications
In iOS 16, the Health app now includes a new Medications tab. You can use it to log medicines, create schedules, and set reminders. Those reminders will then seem in your Apple Watch (and your iPhone), with the flexibility to log the second you are taking them by tapping the notification in your watch.
Track Your AFib History
If you have been recognized with atrial fibrillation, now you can allow the AFib History function for a weekly replace on deeper insights pertaining to your situation. You can see an estimate of how usually your coronary heart rhythm exhibits indicators of AFib and the way different elements akin to train, sleep, and alcohol impression your AFib. You can entry an in depth historical past through the Health app too—with the choice to obtain a PDF to give to your major care doctor. According to Apple, the function 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 might be obtainable in Australia later this fall.
Temperature Sensing (Series 8 and Ultra Only)
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 function that may assist detect modifications in your physique relying in your temperature. While asleep, it could possibly measure your wrist temperature to detect any variations to your baseline temperature that is perhaps attributable to one thing akin to 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.