At Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference 2022, the company unveiled a sneak peek at WatchOS 9. Due to COVID-19, the WWDC21 was hosted online. Apple announced a new health update with the announcement of watchOS 9. Features like new sleep monitoring tools, REM sleep stages and more are coming to the Sleep app. The atrial fibrillation detection tool will be upgraded as well and users will now be able to keep track of their prescriptions with notifications and alerts for probable drug interactions. Not just that it will get more customisable watch faces, and an enhanced Workout app.
WatchOS is getting four new watch faces: Playtime, a dynamic piece of art created in collaboration with artist Joi Fulton; Metropolitan, a classic, type-driven watch face where the style changes when the Digital Crown is rotated; and Astronomy, an original face that has been completely remastered and features a new star map and current time.. The astronomy one is receiving a makeover. On some of the most iconic watch faces, such as Utility, Simple, and Activity Analog, watchOS 9 adds updated and modernised complexities, as well as background colour editing for Modular, Modular Compact, and X-Large for further personalization. More photographs, including kittens, dogs, and landscapes, are featured in the new Portraits face, and Chinese letters are now available for the California and Typograph watch faces. Users may now choose an Apple Watch face to appear automatically when they start a specific Focus on an iPhone, such as the Photos face during a Personal Focus, to help them stay present.
The Workout app has been upgraded to include more performance metrics and additional training experiences. The classic in-session display now rotates between easy-to-read Workout Views, allowing users to monitor key stats for a variety of training approaches. Heart Rate Zones can be used to track the intensity of a workout. They can be manually constructed or automatically calculated using customised health data. The Workout app in watchOS 9 introduces Custom Workouts, which can be used to construct a planned workout with work and rest intervals.
The Workout app now has a new Multisport workout type for triathletes that uses motion sensors to recognise movement patterns and automatically transitions between any sequence of swimming, bike, and running workouts.
In addition to this watchOS 9 adds even more data and functionality to help users track their running efficiency. On Workout Views, new running form metrics such as Stride Length, Ground Contact Time, and Vertical Oscillation can all be added as metrics. Users can notice trends over time and learn from patterns by looking at these metrics in the Fitness app summary and the Health app. In addition, a new pacer experience allows users to select a distance and time goal for completing a run, and the speed required to meet the goal is calculated. They can use the pace alerts and stats offered during the workout to keep track of their progress.
Kickboard detection has been added as a new stroke type for Pool Swim workouts, which uses sensor fusion on the Apple Watch to recognise when users are swimming with a kickboard and categorise the stroke type in the workout summary alongside the distance swam. Swimmers can now track their efficiency with a SWOLF score, which combines a stroke count with the time it takes to swim one length of the pool in seconds. In the workout summary, users may see their SWOLF average for each set.
With the addition of sleep stages in watchOS 9, sleep monitoring in watchOS 9 delivers even more information. Apple Watch can determine when users are in REM, Core, or Deep sleep using signals from the accelerometer and heart rate sensor. Users can see sleep stage data on Apple Watch in the Sleep app, and in the Health app on iPhone, they can access more specific information, such as time asleep, alongside additional metrics, such as heart rate and respiration rate, in sleep comparison charts.
The Apple Watch can now track how long you are in A-Fib. AFib is one of the most common disorders that can lead to stroke if left untreated. Users who have been diagnosed with AFib can utilise watchOS 9’s FDA-cleared AFib History feature to get critical information, such as an estimate of how frequently their cardiac rhythm shows indicators of AFib, giving them a better understanding of their situation. Users will also receive weekly notifications to help them understand the frequency and explore a complete history on the Health app, which will include lifestyle aspects such as sleep, alcohol intake, and exercise that may influence AFib.
Users can obtain a PDF that includes a complete history of their AFib and lifestyle factors, which can be easily shared with doctors and care providers for more informed discussions.
You can also track your medications on Apple Watch with watchOS 9. Users can build a prescription list, set up schedules and reminders, and read the information on their meds in the Health app with the new Medications experience on Apple Watch and iPhone. Users can track prescriptions discreetly and conveniently with the Medications app on Apple Watch. Each drug can have its own schedule built for it, whether it needs to be taken numerous times a day, once a week, or as needed, and users can set up reminders to help them stay on track. In the United States, users who have added drugs to the Health app may receive an alert if there are any potential critical interactions.
All of a user’s health and fitness data in the Health app — except Medical ID — is encrypted when their iPhone is locked with a passcode, Touch ID, or Face ID. Any health information backed up to iCloud is encrypted in transit and on Apple’s servers.
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