With so many of Apple’s devices being essentially software-dependent touchscreens, the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference is when we really see all the new features and functionality in its hardware, including the Apple Watch and the new watchOS 9.
Many of the software updates to Apple’s popular wearable are designed to better take advantage of the larger screens introduced in recent models, but they also include improvements to Apple’s already impressive health and fitness tracking capabilities. the Apple Watch.
Watch faces that take better advantage of larger screens
The most obvious reason to upgrade to the latest version of watchOS year after year is the introduction of new watch faces to breathe new life into your wearable, as these can always only come from Apple itself. . For watchOS 9, four new watch faces are on the way. These have been redesigned to better fill the larger screen of the device, including an astronomy face, a lunar calendar face and one that promises to celebrate watch face typography and even allows users to interactively adjust font sizes by simply turning the digital crown.
Enhanced training metrics for runners
It didn’t take long for Apple to realize that fitness tracking would be the bread and butter of the Apple Watch, even though it was the killer app for wearables ever since. their beginnings. For watchOS 9, the Apple Watch will leverage its accelerometer and gyroscope to track a runner’s shape, stride length, and ground contact time, and it introduces the ability to specify zones of heart rate, as well as distance and time intervals, with vibrant haptic feedback. and voice alerts let users know they’ve hit a target and need to change things.
Apple Watch’s Fitness app, which has long been exclusively available on the wearable, is finally coming to iOS and the iPhone, taking advantage of the smartphone’s motion-sensing technology to track metrics and performance (as long as a athlete wears or wearing the device).
More detailed sleep tracking
With watchOS 8, users were able to choose to wear their device overnight to track their sleep breathing rate and see if their average nightly sleep was increasing or decreasing week over week. With watchOS 9 comes the added ability for the Apple Watch to detect and measure the various stages of sleep, including REM, core, deep sleep, and even when someone is awake.
Medication reminders and alerts for bad drug interactions
If there was any doubt that Apple was all in when it came to treating the Apple Watch as a legitimate medical device, watchOS 9 will also introduce medication tracking. Users can physically scan a medicine bottle label using their iPhone camera, and it will be added and tracked via the iPhone Health app, with the Apple Watch providing in-the-moment reminders taking medications (including logging when you do), and possible conflicts between the different types of medications you are currently taking. You will also be able to share medication information with your loved ones.
Create new calendar events right on your watch
Apple Watch users who have opted for a cellular connected model have even less reason to reach for their iPhone or computer as watchOS 9’s Calendar app is updated with the ability to create new events and appointments. you right on the watch, and a new Weekly view makes it easier to see what meetings or other responsibilities stand between you and a relaxing weekend.
This article has been updated since it was first published.
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