It is normally in the fall of 2022 that Apple will deploy watchOS 9, its new operating system for connected watches. Serious health and design improvements are included, the vast majority of which are already available in beta. Keep in mind, however, that the list below is not exhaustive; indeed it happens that new features encountering too serious bugs are postponed as is the case for Stage Manager on iPadOS 16.
In addition, it is also very possible that Cupertino prepares additional features for us but which are still hidden. They would then be released with watchOS 9.1, watchOS 9.2, etc. The calendar is similar to that of iOS 16, which also arrives with multiple new features, the list of which you can find in this other dedicated article.
Reminder: prefer to wait until September for the final version of watchOS 9 in order to avoid technical problems.
New watch faces OS 9
- Megalopolis : this new face of watchOS 9 lets you customize the font of the numbers of the clock.
- Break : design created in partnership with Chicago graphic artist Joi Fulton with quirky little characters.
- Astronomy : view of the globe and the weather from space.
- Lunar : our natural satellite in the center and a calendar of your choice among the Chinese, Islamic or Hebrew lunar calendars.
- New Complications : UV rays, outside temperature.
- Portraits : this iconic face of Apple Watch improves with watchOS 9 by letting you now the possibility of displaying snapshots of your dog or your cat, while tinting the background of the image as you wish.
- Background colors : to be customized for the Modular, Compact Modular and Extra large dials.
- Privacy : new for notification bubbles, which will appear more discreetly when you are using watchOS 9. If the wrist is lowered, the alert is displayed in full screen.
New Free Features
- Exercises : a new design, accessible by rotating the Digital Crown, allows you to view the statistics collected by your Apple Watch in real time during your sports sessions, including your activity rings, heart rate, altitude or even the power.
- Heart rate zones : This new graph segments your exercises according to the heartbeat, in order to guess when you are exerting the most, automatically or manually.
- Workouts : more personalization, with the possibility of choosing your own effort and recovery intervals according to your habits.
- Alerts : new feature in watchOS 9 that alerts you when certain parameters are reached with power, heart rate, pace or cadence.
- Race against yourself : watchOS 9 offers a novelty reminiscent of the ghosts of Mario Kart; you must catch up or exceed the average speed recorded during your previous exercises. Works with a map for regular routes.
- New technical data : stride length, ground contact time and vertical oscillation.
- running power : “by instantly measuring your efforts, the functionality running power helps you aim for an intensity level that you can sustain over time“, says Apple.
- Triathlon : support for this new sport, as well as the transition from cycling to swimming or running and vice versa.
- Swimming : watchOS 9 now detects the swim with a board and allows you to follow your Swolf score according to each series.
- Exercise Summary : the analysis of your races after exercise is more detailed with watchOS 9.
Note: a subscription to Apple Fitness+ is charged 9.99 euros per month, however Apple offers you three months of trial when purchasing a new Apple Watch.
- Intensity : watchOS 9 displays new information on the intensity of your efforts (Easy, Moderate, Hard, Maximum) at the right time during the course.
- Goals : rhythms to reach recommended by coaches for running, cycling or rowing.
- TV : If your TV is compatible with AirPlay, your training sessions on the big screen now also display the data collected in real time by watchOS 9.
New watchOS 9 keyboards
- Supported languages : German, French, Spanish, Japanese, Portuguese, Italian.
- Reminders : this new feature of watchOS 9 warns you when it’s time to take your medication, food supplements or vitamins, like a connected pillbox.
- Followed : Manually indicate your medication intake based on time and dose.
- sleep cycles : this new feature of watchOS 9 detects sleep phases (REM / awakening / REM sleep / deep sleep), which will be very useful for monitoring polyphasic sleep for skippers and other night workers.
- Health : the iPhone app is getting a new version that records heart rate, respiratory rate and the evolution of sleep during the night, all in the form of graphs to be compared depending on the day and over the long term.
- Podcasts : watchOS 9 makes the app accessible to children via the family configuration.
- House : a new feature of watchOS 9 allows you to let your little ones control your connected objects via HomeKit (HomePod, lighting, shutters, etc.).
- Cards (formerly Apple Wallet) : you can now share the keys to your home or rental accommodation (hotel, Airbnb, etc.) with your children.
watchOS 9: multitasking
- Dock : watchOS 9 displays apps running in the background first (layered on top of others) in the Dock.
- Quick Actions : Double-pinch to start a workout or capture a scene remotely with the iPhone camera paired with your Apple Watch.
- Copy : new feature that duplicates the interface of your Apple Watch under watchOS 9 on the screen of your iPhone so that you can control it by voice if necessary.
- Events : create your own event directly from watchOS 9, without taking out your Mac or iPhone.
- Diary : new visualization for the program of the day or the week in the blink of an eye in full screen.
Unfortunately, some Apple Watch models are not compatible with watchOS 9. This is the case with older editions. To learn more, do not hesitate to consult our complete list of Apple Watches eligible for watchOS 9.
Bonus: the autonomy of Apple Watch Series 4 and Series 5 is extended with watchOS 9.