watchOS 9: Features, Watch Faces, compatibility, release date
23 'watchOS 9' stories
August 2021 - June 2022
watchOS 9 is Apple Watch’s upcoming operating system. The Apple Watch software focuses on health and well being-features, as it did with watchOS 8. Here’s everything we know about Apple’s future watchOS update.
Table of contents
New features in watchOS 9
With the release of watchOS 8 in 2021, Apple introduced a handful of features for the Apple Watch. Setting multiple timers, bringing more workouts, while also focusing on mindfulness, the last operating system brought several improvements.
With watchOS 9, Apple is polishing features introduced last year, such as Focus Mode, and Sleep tracking, revamping old Watch Faces, and adding new apps such as Medication, and more.
Here’s what you need to know about watchOS 9.
New and revamped Watch Faces
With watchOS 9, Apple is bringing four new Watch Faces: Lunar, Playtime, Metropolitan, and Astronomy.
- Lunar: Apple describes it as a watch face that “depicts the relationship between the Gregorian calendar and lunar calendar;”
- Playtime: A dynamic and interactive watch face created in collaboration with illustrator and artist Joi Fulton;
- Metropolitan: A classic watch face that replicates an analog watch but with multiple customization options;
- Astronomy: Completely revamped, it adds super detailed 3D versions of the Earth and the Moon.
Apple also updated Modular, Modular Compact, X-Large, Simple, and Utility Watch Faces to take advantage of the larger displays available on the Apple Watch. Last but not least, the Portrait watch face now works with pet portraits.
Workout app now displays more info, focuses on Heart Rate Zones, and more
watchOS 9 is really giving some love to the Workout app with new Workout Views. The display now lets you see more while working out by showing Activity rings, Heart Rate Zones, Power, and Elevation.
With Heart Rate Zones, which is the main goal of the popular activity app Gentler Streak, watchOS 9 helps you understand the intensity level of your exercise. Training zones are automatically calculated and personalized using your health data.
In addition, it’s easy to customize your workouts and receive alerts for pace, heart rate, cadence, and power. watchOS 9 now gives you instant feedback to know if you’re on pace to meet your goal and dynamic pacing helps you with that.
Last but not least, Multisport lets you automatically transition between swim, bike, and run. Apple calls it “singularly awesome for triathletes.”
Sleep app and new Medication app
Apple introduced the Sleep app with watchOS 8. Now, with watchOS 9, Apple is finally making it useful to all users. With Sleep stages, you can see how much time you spent in REM, Core, or Deep sleep, as well as when you might have woken up.
With the new Medication app, you can have reminders for medications, while helping you discreetly and conveniently keep track of your medications, vitamins, and supplements.
Although Apple keeps selling the Apple Watch Series 3, it won’t support watchOS 9. Here are the models to receive the future update:
- Apple Watch Series 4 (2018)
- Apple Watch Series 5 (2019)
- Apple Watch SE (2020)
- Apple Watch Series 6 (2020)
- Apple Watch Series 7 (2021)
Apple is also expected to unveil three new Apple Watches in 2022.
Release date: When will watchOS 9 come out?
watchOS 9 was announced on June 6, during WWDC 2022’s keynote. In July, Apple will release the public beta version of the operating system, followed by the general public version to all users later in the fall.