Yesterday at WWDC 2022, Apple unveiled the next version of watchOS for the Apple Watch – with watchOS 9. The new version allows users to have more customisation over watch faces, as well as new notification options and more granular data within the Workout app.
As we have seen with iOS 16, Apple is offering users some more customisation over the look of the lock screen, which for the Apple Watch is the watch face. To start off with, there are four new faces, with Lunar, Playtime, Metropolitan, and Astronomy. All the other existing watch faces have been updated too to support depth, like the lock screen does on iOS 16.
Sleep was introduced to the Apple Watch last year and on launch it was pretty basic, so Apple is now adding more insight into the data it collects, using data from the accelerometer and heart rate sensor it’ll be able to detect what stage of sleep you were in and for how long. watchOS 9 will be able to work out if you are in REM, Core, or Deep sleep.
With the Workout app, Apple says it is the most popular app on the platform, so a couple of changes have been made. Starting with a lot more detailed metrics, with new ways to measure performance, such as Heart Rate Zones and stride length, ground contact time, and vertical oscillation.
watchOS 9 will be available to the general public later this year, alongside iOS 16. It is available now for developers to download as part of the Apple Developer Program.
Apple will be offering a public beta, which will launch in July. With this release, Apple is dropping support for the Apple Watch Series 3, so you’ll need an Apple Watch Series 4 or later that is paired with an iPhone 8 or later and iPhone SE (2nd gen) or later that is running iOS 16.