if you have an iPhone, the Apple Watch is by far the best fitness tracker. Perhaps the only downside (besides battery life) is that Apple’s health software has historically been a bit lacking. It’s not uncommon to see Apple Watch users immediately transfer their data to more useful and easy-to-use software like Strava or Nike Run Club. But that could all change with a slew of new fitness features debuting in WatchOS 9.
If features like stride length measurement and vertical oscillation work as intended, they could easily turn the Apple Watch into the best watch for running and the best watch for endurance athletes, period. That’s in addition to a lot of completely new features in the new Series 8such as accident detection and a body temperature sensor that will help people who want to get pregnant keep track of their fertility. Here, we break down all the major new features in WatchOS 9. Don’t forget to check out our best apple watch and the Best Apple Watch Accessories guides for more.
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Is your Apple Watch compatible?
Will your watch be able to download WatchOS 9? The following models are supported:
- 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 also need a compatible iPhone with iOS 16, which includes iPhone 8 (2017) or later. You can check our iOS 16 Feature Summary for instructions on how to download the new operating system to your phone.
How to install Watch OS 9
You can install WatchOS 9 with your iPhone or Apple Watch. Whichever method you choose, you’ll want to make sure your iPhone is connected to Wi-Fi and running iOS 16, and that your Apple Watch’s battery is at 50 percent (at least). You’ll also need to make sure your watch and iPhone are next to each other, to keep them within range.
To update your watch using your iPhone, open the Apple Watch app and tap on the My watch tab. then play General > Software update Y Discharge. From there, you’ll see a progress wheel on your Apple Watch indicating that the update has started. If you choose to install an update directly on Apple Watch, you’ll need to make sure the watch is connected to Wi-Fi. Then open the Settings app on your watch and touch General > Software update > Install.
WatchOS 9 can take up to an hour to install, so make sure you don’t have to access your smartwatch during that time. If you need to, you can choose to update your Apple Watch overnight. When you get a notification that the new operating system is available for download, touch the update tonight option. Then, on his iPhone, he confirms that he wants to update his watch overnight. Before you go to bed, make sure both your iPhone and Apple Watch are charging throughout the night.
Health and fitness characteristics
There are a number of improvements to the Apple Watch health and fitness apps. Here is the truth.
Better training views
To better optimize your workouts, Apple updated its Workout app to display more stats, and you can turn the Digital Crown to cycle through different views like heart rate zones, activity rings, and power and elevation. You’ll also have the option to create custom workouts complete with work and rest intervals, along with alerts for heart rate, pace, power and cadence as you exercise.
The redesigned Compass app now has a hybrid view that includes the simple analog compass that shows direction and heading, plus a new digital one. Turning the crown displays relevant navigation information such as latitude, longitude, elevation, and tilt. It also includes new orientation features such as Waypoints and Backtrack. Tap the Waypoint icon to place a marker on a point of interest. Backtrack uses GPS data to show the user where they’ve been if they get disoriented and need to turn around.
Execution metrics in depth
Anyone who wears an Apple Watch while running will be happy to know that you can now track new metrics like ground contact time, stride length, and vertical oscillation, all of which can help you improve your form. You can add them to your workout views, or view them in the Fitness app overview, as well as in the Health app (the Fitness app is finally available). available for iPhones from iOS 16). You will also be able to see trends and patterns over time.
Features of Fitness+
If you’ve been streaming your Fitness+ workouts to a second screen (like your TV) using AirPlay instead of Apple TV, you’ll finally be able to see your real-time heart rate, calories, and Burn Bar on the screen (if supported). Speaking of metrics, there’s also a new “coach calls” feature built into your stats, with phrases like “Hard” and “All Out!”, to help you increase your intensity levels as you work out.
Sleep tracking now shows different stages of sleep. Leveraging the heart rate sensor and accelerometer, your smartwatch will identify when you’re in REM, Core, and Deep sleep. You can check this data every morning using the Sleep app on the watch. A more detailed breakdown including things like sleep time, heart and breathing rates, and sleep comparison graphs will sync with the Health app.
Register your medications
In iOS 16, the Health app now features a new tab Medications. You can use it to log medications, create schedules, and set reminders. Those reminders will appear on your Apple Watch (and iPhone), with the ability to record the time you take them by tapping the notification on your watch.
Keep track of your AFib history
If you’ve been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, you can now enable the AFib History feature to get a weekly update on more detailed information related to your condition. You can see an estimate of how often your heart rhythm shows signs of AFib and how other factors, like exercise, sleep, and alcohol, affect your AFib. You can also access a detailed history through the Health app, with the option to download a PDF to give to your primary care doctor. According to Apple, the feature 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 will be available in Australia later this fall.
Temperature sensing (Series 8 and Ultra only)
With a two-sided temperature sensor, one on the back of the smartwatch close to your skin and one under the screen, the apple watch series 8 includes a new feature that can help detect changes in your body depending on your temperature. While you sleep, you can measure your wrist temperature to detect any differences from your baseline temperature that might be caused by something like illness or exhaustion. If you track your period with the Health app, you’ll receive “retrospective ovulation estimates” to help with family planning and improve period predictions.