The Apple Watch has long been one of Apple’s most important products – it literally saved people’s lives. This fact alone is what makes my ears perk whenever Apple decides to mention the watchOS, because I know it has far-reaching consequences and benefits for many different people. It’s not just cool tech, it’s a device that lets you live your life better.
Health and fitness updates
There’s no denying that health and fitness tracking is one of the primary uses for many Apple Watch owners, and watchOS 9 finally not only adds a new type of workout, but adds more metrics. workouts in general that will be a boon to people who want them.
First, you have custom workouts, allowing you to create your own workouts in the Workout app. You can even have structured intervals, which means you can include rest intervals whenever you want – between sets, reps, or whatever you’re doing.
Second, multi-sport workouts will be a dream for triathletes everywhere since you can track your running, swimming, and cycling in one workout. Not only that, but the Apple Watch will also automatically switch between the three activities using the sensors to track the different movements you make. So if you’re training for that upcoming triathlon, just start a workout and never think about it again.
Finally, watchOS 9 features a bunch of new metrics to track for various workouts. Runners will be able to get advanced metrics that can really be an integral part of tracking performance, such as stride length, ground contact time, and vertical oscillation.
Swimmers are also getting some new toys, with watchOS 9’s ability to automatically detect when you’re using a kickboard and categorize the type of stroke in your workout summary. Additionally, you will also be able to track your SWOLF score, which will make it much easier to keep track of your pool laps.
Medicines will be a huge boon
Well, I’ve already mentioned the fitness aspects, but helping you take better care of your health is another important part of the Apple Watch. The new Medicines app is probably one of the most useful health-related apps Apple has released in quite some time. As the child of parents who are aging and taking more and more medication for multiple health complications, having an app that can track everything for them will be a huge relief for me – and for them! It’s not even just about being able to track your medications either.
A huge benefit will be the ability to check whether the drug you are taking has any interactions with other drugs, so you don’t accidentally mix something that could be dangerous for you. At this time, it appears this feature is only available in the US and obviously is not a substitute for medical advice from a real healthcare professional, but it could really help a lot of people take their medications correctly, time and much more safely. That’s a huge plus in my book.
UI improvements (even if small)
When I spent my general reactions to watchOS 9 announcements, I mentioned that Apple didn’t include as many UI improvements as I’d hoped; however, there are a few that I think will come in handy.
The fact that the notifications on your Apple Watch are smaller when you’re actively using an app is a nice quality-of-life change. Seeing more from your screen is always positive. Also, the Dock is much more intuitive because it promotes the apps you’re currently using over all other apps in the Dock. This will make it much easier to switch between apps whenever you want, as you shouldn’t have to search through all of your open apps just to switch between apps.
Other features may appear later
Remember, we’ve just started diving into new betas like everyone else, which means there may be more features to be revealed. There is already a some watchOS 9 features you may have missed if you have read through the WWDC keynote.
I expect to find more goodies in the first beta of watchOS 9 as I spend more time with it and will come back with new discoveries, of course.
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