Apple starts rolling out watchOS 9 with improved sleep and workout tracking

Multiple Apple Watch models running watchOS 9

Apple's watchOS 9, announced in June on WWDC22, is now available for download on supported Apple Watch models. To get watchOS 9 on your Apple Watch, you need an iPhone with iOS 16, which is also rolling out now.

What Apple Watch models support watchOS 9?

watchOS 9 is available on the following Apple Watch models:

  • Apple Watch Series 4
  • Apple Watch Series 5
  • Apple Watch Series 6
  • Apple Watch SE (first-gen, 2020 model)
  • Apple Watch Series 7

This year, Apple has finally ditched the outdated Series 3, the only Apple device with a 32-bit processor. The company no longer sells the Series 3, offering the new SE variant as the most affordable Apple Watch.

What is new in watchOS 9?

Here are the most notable changes in watchOS 9:

  • Improved Workout Views: your Apple Watch can show more information when you work out. Turning the Digital Crown reveals new views of additional metrics, such as activity rings, heart rate zones, elevation, etc. Users can also create custom heart rate zones and set work and recovery intervals to suit their training. There are automatic transitions between swim, bike, and run for triathletes swimming enhancements.
  • Medication tracking: you can track medication intake using your Apple Watch. The device will send you a notification with the option to log medication, vitamins, and supplements.
  • Reworked Sleep Tracking now shows sleep stages and awake periods, plus there are comparison charts with heart and respiratory rate metrics.
  • New Watch Faces: no major watchOS release without new watch faces. Apple has generously provided three new faces this year: Metropolitan, Joi Fulton, and Astronomy (remastered). Besides, some older faces received support for rich complications and colorful backgrounds.
    New watch faces in the wachOS 9
  • AFib History: users diagnosed with atrial fibrillation can track their AFib history and see how different factors influence their heart condition.
  • Accessibility improvements: the Apple Watch now lets you double-pinch your fingers to start a workout or take a photo, plus you can operate the Watch from your iPhone.
  • Redesigned notifications: notifications on the Apple Watch no longer take over the entire screen. Instead, they appear as unobtrusive banners when the Watch is in use.
  • Productivity improvements: you can create new calendar events directly from your Apple Watch and use the built-in keyboard (Series 7, Series 8, and Ultra) in seven new languages.
  • More minor changes.

How to download watchOS 9?

If you own a compatible Apple Watch, update your iPhone to iOS 16 first, then launch the Watch app and navigate to General > Software Update.

Are you updating your Apple Watch today? What new feature or changes excites you the most? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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