When Apple announced watchOS 9 during the WWDC keynote, the new features coming to the Apple Watch earned some commendations for their potential to become useful for Apple Watch owners. Here we have the top 5 new features in watchOS 9, based on potential usability and added value to the Apple Watch.
Custom Workout and Multisport Tracking in watchOS 9
For those maintaining a daily exercise habit, watchOS 9 is introducing Custom Workouts as one of the updates for the Workout app. This new feature will let users create structured workouts including work and rest intervals. Users can also create alerts such as pace, power, heart rate, and cadence to serve as guides throughout the workouts.
For triathletes, watchOS 9 will offer support for a Multisport workout type. This feature will allow users to switch between swimming, biking, or running when training for a triathlon. The Apple Watch will use its sensors to recognize movement patterns. It’s one new feature worth looking into, especially for those who are planning to start their triathlon journey.
New Running Form Metrics in watchOS 9
Being a runner myself, I could attest that the running feature of the Apple Watch deserves commendations for being very useful. But watchOS 9 will be making it better with the addition of new running metrics. These include Stride Length, Ground Contact Time, and Vertical Oscillation. These metrics will be useful for those who are training for their next running event. They will be crucial when trying to improve running performance. Even better, those metrics will be available for viewing in the Fitness app summary and in the Health app.
If there’s one underrated and under-hyped feature of the Apple Watch, it has to be sleep tracking. Many Apple Watch users, including myself, often neglect this feature. Although I have the bedtime schedule set up on my Apple Watch, I don’t really bother checking my sleeping insights. But perhaps with watchOS 9, I may take this feature more seriously. That’s because watchOS 9 will be introducing sleep stages. With this feature, the Apple Watch will be able to detect when a user is in REM, core, or deep sleep. This feature makes use of the Apple Watch accelerometer and heart rate sensor. Users will also be able to view more detailed information such as time asleep, heart and respiratory rate when sleeping, and more. But of course, to use this feature, the Apple Watch should be worn while asleep.
Atrial Fibrillation History in watchOS 9
AFib history happens to be one of the most talked-about new features rumored to come into watchOS 9. Apple has proved those rumors true. In watchOS 9, users diagnosed with atrial fibrillation will be able to turn on the FDA-cleared AFib history feature on Apple Watch. This feature will allow users to access vital information. This includes how frequently a user’s heart rhythm shows signs of AFib. The feature will also provide deeper insights into users’ conditions and provide weekly notifications to help them understand the frequency. It will also allow Watch owners to view a detailed history of AFib in the Health app. The historical data includes lifestyle factors that may influence AFib such as sleep, alcohol intake, and exercise.
The new medications feature of WatchOS 9 will certainly be very useful and timely. If there’s one thing the pandemic has taught us, it’s how to be mindful of our health. To do so, we need to regularly take vitamins and supplements. And in times of sickness, getting the proper medications is certainly a big help.
So, the medication feature of WatchOS 9 will allow users to manage and track medications, vitamins, and supplements. It will let users create a medication list, set up schedules and reminders, and view information on medication in the Health app. But the best thing about this feature is the fact that users can create custom schedules for each medication. Users can set up reminders whether a medication needs to be taken multiple times a day, once a week, or once needed. That is definitely very useful.
There you go, our top 5 new features in watchOS 9. Aside from these features, there are other new features of watchOS 9 worth mentioning too, such as Apple Watch Mirroring, Family Setup, and more. And if watch faces are your thing, there will be new Apple Watch faces coming into watchOS 9.