It isn’t too long before WatchOS 9 is out, but users can sign up for the beta programme if they can’t wait
For many iPhone users, their Apple Watch is just as much a companion as the phone, if not more, since it’s always on one’s wrist. The nice thing is that even if one doesn’t upgrade to the next upcoming version of the watch, existing watches get upgraded with new features with the arrival of the updated operating system each year. WatchOS 9 is probably coming in September, if Apple keeps to tradition, and there may even be an Series 8 watch. Developers and early adopters are already checking out WatchOS 9 and though it isn’t advised to try and put early beta versions of the software on your own watch, it’s interesting to see what’s coming up.
There are always new watch faces and watch straps and that’s one of the joys of the Apple Watch. There’s already a big collection to choose from, but upgrading the OS will bring five new faces. Astronomy enthusiasts will find a new face that has views of the Earth, Moon and Solar System with whatever complications the user chooses. There’s a Lunar face that features lunar calendars. There’s a Metropolitan face that gives the watch a classic old-school look. There are some additions to the already customisable Modular face. Playtime is a face that’s playful, colourful and simple with no complications. The Portraits face now lets you use animals, so you can look at your pet’s face when you want.
A number of small but thoughtful changes include a new notification style which doesn’t need an entire screen of its own, a change of text size of nine levels with the crown is now possible making it easier for those who don’t want to strain their eyes.
WatchOS 9 also introduces a refreshed Siri UI, expanded keyboard languages for Apple Watch Series 7 and quick access to apps you have running — pinned at the top of the dock.
Since the Apple Watch is all about fitness and health, it’s only expected that there should be improvements in this department. There are now detailed metrics for runners and swimmers who can action the information to improve their performance to make it more efficient. Vertical oscillation, ground contact time, stride length and other parameters will be available. There are even improvements to aspects used by every user such as to the Activity Rings which when you are doing a workout, will let you see how your current workout is contributing to your Rings.
There are also enhanced sleep tracking features coming and a mode to track the medications you take. A-Fib, one of Apple’s main focus areas for the heart, also will see enhancements. It isn’t too long to go before you can access these features, but if you can’t wait, users can sign up for the beta programme.