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Apple Watch Series 9 launches with new S9 SiP and Double Tap gesture support

The Watch Series 9's new SiP. (Source: Apple)
The Watch Series 9's new SiP. (Source: Apple)
Apple's latest Watch seems all but unchanged from its last at first glance. Nevertheless, the Cupertino giant asserts that it is powered by a new and improved system-in-package (SiP). The Series 9 is also touted to elevate the integration between Siri and Health with an upgrade to on-device voice assistance, to exhibit all-day battery life and to boast more sophisticated gesture support than ever before.

  The Series 9 is no longer Apple's flagship wearable; nevertheless, it upgrades to the same new S9 platform as the Apple Watch Ultra 2. The SiP improves on that of the Series 8 with a total of 5.6 billion transistors, a GPU rated to be up to 30% faster and a new 4-core Neural Engine of up to twice the speed.

The new Apple Watch leverages it to bring Siri requests on-device, which means the voice assistant should be able to anticipate common calls to service without the potential for lag imposed by having to resort to a cloud to route its responses.

On that note, the Series 9 is rated to support a new feature called Siri+Health, by which users can ask their new Watch to do things like start regular work-outs, verbally log their medication intake and so on. Apple estimates that they should be able to do so for up to 18 hours per charge. However, its activation is dependent on an upcoming update to watchOS 10.

Series 9 owners might burn through that battery life a little quicker at first playing with the Watch's new tweaks, however. They include new or improved ultra-wide band (UWB) functionality such as the auto-magic appearance of relevant controls when moving into the vicinity of an active HomePod and Precision Finding - although the latter is compatible with iPhone 15-series units only.

Nevertheless, it is clear that the Series 9 comes with the exact same internals of the Series 8 otherwise. Then again, Apple has implemented the patent that allows 3 of them (the accelerometer, gyroscope and heart-rate sensor) to team up in order to transmute detections of the fine motions involved in bringing a fore-finger and thumb together into the response to a new gesture: Double Tap.

It can be set to do things such as answer or reject calls; silence alarms; control media on a connected TV or conclude workouts. Double Tap is joined by a new, ultra-curved display of the same 2,000-nit max brightness as the new iPhone 15, with the ability to drop down to as little as 1 nit for comfortable viewing in some situations.

The Series 9 also contrives to set itself apart from its predecessor with a series-first pale pink option for its aluminum case, although more established options such as blue, (PRODUCT)RED, gold and graphite are still in evidence. It can be ordered with bands made of a new "FineWoven" fabric, made of post-consumer plastic in accordance with Apple's well-hyped (and accelerated) carbon-neutral resolutions.

The Watch Series 9 is available from today starting at US$399, although it is not projected to start shipping until September 22, 2023.

Alternatively, the Series 8 might start to drop in price via third-party channels soon.

The Series 9 in all colorways available on its launch. (Source: Apple)
The Series 9 in all colorways available on its launch. (Source: Apple)
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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2023 09 > Apple Watch Series 9 launches with new S9 SiP and Double Tap gesture support
Deirdre O'Donnell, 2023-09-12 (Update: 2023-09-14)