Apple Watch Series 9 Unveiled With S9 Chip, 'Double Tap' Gesture, and More
Apple today unveiled the Apple Watch Series 9, featuring significantly improved performance thanks to the S9 Apple silicon chip, a "Double Tap" hand gesture for interacting with the device without touch, Precision Finding for iPhone, and more.
The Series 9 has been internally redesigned, including an entirely new Apple silicon chip. It has 60% more transistors and is 30% faster than the S8 chip. It also has a four-core neural engine for 2x faster neural tasks.
Siri requests are now processed on the Apple Watch, making them faster and more secure, and the voice assistant can also access health data for the first time. Dictation on the Series 9 is also up to 25% more accurate than the Series 8 thanks to secure on-device processing. It retains the same 18-hour all-day battery life.
With Ultra Wideband support, the Apple Watch Series 9 can use Precision Finding for an iPhone for the first time, just like the iPhone can with an AirTag. It is also more deeply integrated with the HomePod. When an Apple Watch user gets within four meters of a HomePod playing audio, Apple Watch Series 9 will automatically launch Now Playing to control the media. If nothing is playing on HomePod, media suggestions will appear at the top of the Smart Stack.
The Series 9 also features a brighter always-on Retina display that can now go up to up to 2000 nits, twice the brightness of the Apple Watch Series 8. It can also reduce to just one nit of brightness for use in theatres or at night.
The Apple Watch Series 9 can be controlled with a new hand gesture called "Double Tap," where the user taps the thumb and index finger together like with a Vision Pro headset. Using this gesture, users can interact with the device without touching the screen for tasks like answering or ending a call, stop a timer, snooze an alarm, pause of play music, bring up the Smart Stack, and more. It does this by looking for tiny changes to movement and blood flow using the accelerometer and blood oxygen sensor.
The Apple Watch Series 9 is available in a new Pink color option, alongside Starlight, Silver, Midnight, and PRODUCT(RED). The stainless steel version is available in Silver, Gold, and Graphite.
The Apple Watch Series 9 is made with more recycled materials and comes in a smaller, more environmentally friendly box. A new version of the Sport Loop band also uses 82% recycled yarn. Leather will no longer be offered on any new Apple Watch bands, but Apple is offering a range of new "FineWoven" bands, as well as bands from Hermès and Nike.
The Apple Watch Series 9 is the successor to last year's Series 8, which introduced body temperature sensing and cycle tracking, a more powerful gyroscope and high dynamic range accelerometer, and Crash Detection.