Apple Announces watchOS 9 With Updated Watch Faces, Enhanced Fitness and Sleep Tracking Features, More

Apple today announced watchOS 9 for the Apple Watch, which will include more watch face options with more in-depth customization options, updates to notifications, new features in the Workout app, and more.

watchos 9 image
Similar to iOS 16's new lock screen, the new watch faces in watchOS 9 let users personally style each face. There are four new faces: Lunar, Playtime, Metropolitan, and Astronomy; classic watch faces have been updated as well to showcase enhanced depth effects of watchOS 9.

In regards to specific apps, the Workout app has been updated with more detailed metrics for measuring performance and a new training experience to help you reach your fitness goals. You can see different Workout Views by rotating the Digital Crown, changing between different training styles during a workout.

Heart Rate Zones help monitor the intensity of a workout, and Custom Workouts allow for work and rest intervals throughout a workout. Additionally, new alerts include pace, power, heart rate, cadence, and more, can be added to guide you through the workout.

watchos 9 image 2
Runners will be able to track metrics like stride length, ground contact time, and vertical oscillation. These appear in the Fitness app summary and in the Health app, allowing runners to track trends over time and learn from their patterns.

Frequently used routes allow runners to race against their own ghost times, including their best or last results, and receive alerts during the run for being ahead or behind their ghost. Lastly, there are a few updates to swimming workouts, like kickboard detection as a new stroke type.

watchos 9 sleep
Apple Watch will now be able to track more sleep insights with the new sleep stages feature. Using signals from the accelerometer and heart rate sensor, watchOS 9 can detect when users are in REM, Core, or Deep sleep. All of these stats will be available in the Sleep app upon waking up.

Anyone diagnosed with AFib can use the new AFib History feature in watchOS 9 to access important information. This includes an estimate of how frequently a user's heart rhythm shows signs of AFib, and more, and this feature has been cleared by the FDA.

watchos 9 meds
Next, there's a new Medications experience on watchOS 9 and iOS 16 that can track a user's medications, vitamins, and supplements. They can create a medications list, set up schedules and reminders, and view information on their meds in the Health app.

The Health app tracks all of the medications, and can even alert users if it sees potential critical interactions between two meds that were added (for people in the United States). Otherwise, it'll let users create schedules to remind themselves to take their meds.

Other watchOS 9 updates:

  • Notifications have been redesigned to be less interruptive, similar to iOS 16.
  • Family Setup now supports the Home app, letting kids be invited to control Home accessories.
  • Quick Actions let users do even more with a double-pinch gesture, like ending a phone call or taking a photo.
  • Apple Watch Mirroring helps users with physical and motor disabilities control Apple Watch via iPhone.
  • QWERTY keyboard adds support for French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese (Brazil), and Spanish (Mexico, Spain, Latin America).
  • Redesigned Dock features apps that are actively in use ahead of others.
  • Reminders app lets users add or edit key details like dates and time.
  • Calendar app lets users create new events directly on Apple Watch.
  • Cardio Recovery tracks cardiovascular health after walks and runs.

watchOS 9 is now available as a developer beta to Apple Developer Program members, and a public beta will arrive next month. It'll launch to the public this fall as a free software update for Apple Watch Series 4 or later, paired with ‌iPhone‌ 8 or later and iPhone SE (second-gen) or later, running iOS 16.

Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)
Related Forum: Apple Watch

Popular Stories

Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

10 Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Monday July 8, 2024 5:00 am PDT by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models simultaneously, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different – already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...
iPhone 15 Pro Cameras

iPhone 17 Pro Max Will Be First Model to Feature Three 48MP Cameras

Thursday July 11, 2024 12:20 am PDT by
Next year's iPhone 17 Pro Max will feature an upgraded 48-megapixel Tetraprism camera for enhanced photo quality and zoom functionality, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In his n-iphone-tetraprism-upgrade-ca62dd37e364">latest investor note published to Medium, Kuo said the key specification change would be a 1/2.6" 48MP CIS sensor, up from the 1/3.1" 12MP sensor expected to be used...
iPhone 16 Pro Front Update Blue

iPhone 16 Pro Rumored to Support 40W Fast Charging and 20W MagSafe

Wednesday July 10, 2024 3:57 am PDT by
Apple's forthcoming iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max will support 40W wired fast charging and 20W MagSafe charging, claims a rumor currently swirling around China. Right now, iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro models are capable of up to 27W peak charging speeds with an appropriate USB-C power adapter, while official MagSafe chargers from Apple and authorized third parties can wirelessly charge...
AirPods Pro Beta Firmware

Apple Releases New AirPods Pro 2 Beta Firmware With Support for iOS 18 Features

Tuesday July 9, 2024 11:46 am PDT by
Apple today released a second beta firmware for the AirPods Pro 2, including both the Lightning and USB-C versions. The updated firmware has a build number 7A5244b and it is available to developers at the current time. This is the second firmware update that Apple has released since announcing new AirPods Pro 2 features in June. There are several new features that are coming to the AirPods...
Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID

iPhone 16 Models Rumored to Have Face ID-Related Design Changes

Tuesday July 9, 2024 9:15 am PDT by
iPhone 16 models coming later this year could have some Face ID-related "design changes," supply chain publication DigiTimes said this week. The original source of this information is British newspaper The Telegraph, which six weeks ago reported that Face ID component supplier Coherent was considering selling or repurposing a manufacturing facility in Newton Aycliffe, a small town in...
orka desktop

MacStadium Releases Free Orka Desktop macOS Virtualization Software

Wednesday July 10, 2024 6:55 am PDT by
Mac cloud services provider MacStadium today unveiled Orka Desktop, a free virtualization tool that allows Mac users to create and manage macOS virtual machines locally via an easy-to-use admin panel. Orka users can create or download custom macOS images locally for their own personal use, or to collaborate with team members using a familiar workflow, versioning, audit, and review controls....

Top Rated Comments

Dynamite_Rave Avatar
28 months ago

Again nothing that made me go wow, this wwdc is getting worse by the min, this is embarrassing
Then quit watching, buy something else and go on with your life. It's really that easy. It's more embarrassing complaining on MacRumors.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Minato1990 Avatar
28 months ago
Yes for that new running workout update **** YES
IM THROWING MY INTERVAL APP IN THE TRASH WHEN THIS COMES OUT LFG
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Feyl Avatar
28 months ago

The current product line would be awesome if "it just works" was still true. I don't care about 80 new emojis. I just want software quality control back at Jobs-era levels.
That's right. To me Apple seems extremely lazy and comfortable. I don't care about emojis either and I just don't get the obsession with them. It's very apparent that Apple is focusing too much on hardware and software is left behind even though it's the soul of any device.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PaladinGuy Avatar
28 months ago
The sleep and interval stuff is going to endanger more than a few third party apps.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
_Spinn_ Avatar
28 months ago
Super excited for Sleep Stages. I can finally stop wearing my FitBit. Now we just need to add automatic sleep tracking.

Love the medication tracking. Hopefullly we get food tracking in the future as well.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jk73 Avatar
28 months ago

Very much agree, but to be honest... Apple has lost it’s magic years ago. Not to mention that their keynotes went from fun, engaging and informative to a snooze fest that one could get only from Microsoft or Google. I’m glad that I had the honor to use Apple products while Steve Jobs was there. Those were truly magical times. I know it’s annoying to say this but it’s true.
The current product line would be awesome if "it just works" was still true. I don't care about 80 new emojis. I just want software quality control back at Jobs-era levels.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)