Apple unveils watchOS 9 with updated heart-health, sleep-tracking and workout-tracking features
Apple touts its Watch as a powerful companion device for those interested in keeping an eye on their workout gains, as well as their health and well-being if necessary. Now, the Cupertino giant asserts that the wearables' next new software update, watchOS 9, will make those goals more attainable and feasible than ever.
The OEM started its watchOS 9-centric phase of its WWDC 2022 keynote with a debut for its UI's latest Faces, which includes one for comprehensive lunar-calendar-tracking, the Digital Crown-responsive Metropolitan and the "remastered" version of Astronomy.
However, other users may be more interested in Apple's claims of improved atrial fibrillation (AFib) reporting based on a Watch's heart-rate data. It might improve on conventional tracking by calculating the amount of time a user experiences AFib per week and converting it into a regular on-screen notification.
The Watch will also become rated to track sleep in terms of its individual stages (defined as REM, Core and Deep within the app for some reason). This new data breakdown is based on feedback from the wearables' heart-rate sensor and accelerometer, although Apple insists it is to be analyzed by machine-learning models trained on the widely-regarded clinincal technique of polysomnography (PSG).
Apple also purports to support users with health conditions in their lives with a new Medications app for the Watch. It is rated to help the user build lists of their prescriptions if necessary, offer guidance on potential drug-drug interactions and track intake for vulnerable relatives with devices such as the SE if necessary as well as send dosage reminders.
Apple has also added some updates to the Workout App for watchOS 9, which involves an increased emphasis on on-screen coaching and automatic exercise type-switching as well as more granular feedback in Running mode. They include tracking and analysis for more metrics such as segment pace, stride length and vertical oscillation.
Finally, Apple has presented watchOS 9 with assurances of user data privacy and security, so long as a paired iPhone or other device has Face ID, Touch ID or passcode-locking on or health data is uploaded to an iCloud. The update is available from today as a developer beta, from July 2022 as a public beta or in the third quarter of 2022 as a general stable upgrade.
Apple Press Release