Apple Watch Series 9: Best New Features

  • Apple Watch Series 9 is powered by the S9 SiP.
  • This new S9 SiP enables double tap gesture, on-device Siri, etc.
  • If you’re planning on getting the Apple Watch Series 9, you should have a look at these features that make it a worthy upgrade over its predecessor.
Apple Watch Series 9 variants feature image

The Apple Watch Series 9 was unveiled at Apple’s Wonderlust event alongside the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro series. While the Apple Watch Series 9 looks identical to its predecessor, it comes with several new useful features. Most of these are facilitated by the new S9 SiP (System in a package). So, without any further ado, let’s dive in and check out all the new and exciting features of Apple Watch Series 9. 

1. Apple S9 SiP

Apple Watch Series 9 features - New Apple S9 SiP

The all-new S9 SiP is the heart and the brain of the Apple Watch Series 9. It has 5.6 billion transistors which is a 60% increase when compared to the S8 SiP. Even the GPU on the S9 SiP is 30% faster and consequently the animation and effects are super smooth. A part of the credit also goes to watchOS 10

Then the 4-core Neural Engine of the S9 SiP can process machine learning tasks twice as fast (again, in comparison to S8 SiP). Since we’re talking about the Neural Engine, let’s look at the features it facilitates on the Apple Watch Series 9. 

2. On-Device Processing for Siri Requests and Access Health Data

Apple Watch Series 9 features: On-Device Processing for Siri Requests

The Apple Watch Series 9 is the first Apple Watch to process Siri requests on the device itself. This means the requests won’t be forwarded to the cloud and hence won’t be impacted by poor Cellular Data or Wi-Fi connection. 

Apple Watch Series 9 features: Log and Access Health Data

However, Siri will only process requests that do not require information from the internet. So, you can ask Siri to set an alarm, etc. The new Neural Engine on the S9 PiP also improves the accuracy of Siri Dictation by 25%. Lastly, since on-device processing is private, you can use Siri to access and log data to the Health app. Even these requests will be processed on-device and will be quick and efficient. 

3. Brand New Double Tap Gesture 

The Apple Watch only has a few gestures, but they work well. The latest addition to these gestures is Double Tap which is limited to Apple Watch Series 9 and the Apple Watch Ultra 2. 

Apple Watch Series 9 features: Brand New Double Tap Gesture

Tap your index finger and thumb twice to activate the double tap gesture. Doing so will allow you to control the primary button of any app. So, you can double tap your index finger and thumb to answer or end a call, click a photo, play or pause music, etc. It is going to be extremely useful when your other hand is occupied. 

Again, the credit for the double tap gesture goes to the new Neural Engine in the S9 SiP. It processes the data from the accelerometer, gyroscope, and optical heart sensor along with the help of a new machine learning algorithm. It does so by detecting your wrist movement when you double tap your fingers and also the changes in your blood flow and registers the gesture. 

4. Brighter and Dimmer Display 

Apple Watch Series 9 features: Brighter Display

Apple Watch Series 9 now has a maximum brightness of 2,000 nits. Yes, it’s double that of its predecessor. So, even if you’re standing under bright sunlight, you won’t face any visibility issues. 

Apple Watch Series 9 features: Dimmer Display

For when you’re in darker environments, where the brightness of your Apple Watch is blinding, you can turn it down to up to one nit. Which is extremely dim, however, very useful in darker environments. 

5. Second Generation Ultra Wideband Chip 

Second Generation Ultra Wideband Chip

The S9 SiP powering the Apple Watch Series 9 also features the second-generation UWB (Ultra Wideband) chip. It is the same chip present on the iPhone 15 series. This second-gen UWB chip improves the existing Precision Finding. For those unaware, Precision Finding provides distance, directions, visual, audio, and haptic feedback to help you find your iPhone. 

The second-generation UWB chip also launches the Now Playing controls the moment the Apple Watch Series 9 comes within 4 meters of a HomePod playing audio. And, if it isn’t playing any audio, the Smart Stack will display the media suggestions widget. 

Apple Watch Series 9 Pricing and Availability

Apple Watch Series 9, Apple Watch Ultra 2, and Apple Watch SE are Apple’s first carbon neutral products. The Series 9 is available in 41mm and 45mm case sizes. If you decide to go with the aluminum case the color options are starlight, midnight, silver, pink, and (PRODUCT)RED. Or, if you like the stainless steel case better you can pick it in gold, silver, and graphite color.

The Hermes edition of Apple Watch Series 9 also comes in a stainless steel case that is available in silver and space black color options. 

Apart from this, Apple won’t sell leather bands anymore. While they haven’t said so explicitly, they’ve mentioned that they’re introducing FineWoven material which has 68% less carbon emissions compared to leather. So, I’m taking an educated guess here.

Even the Sport Loops are redesigned and include 82% recycled yarn. The same applies to the Nike and Hermes bands which are more environmentally friendly but the recycled material percentage varies. 

Finally, the Apple Watch Series 9 begins at 399 US Dollars and is available in stores from September 22, 2023. What are your thoughts about the features and pricing of Apple Watch Series 9 and the company’s approach to reducing their carbon footprint? Let us know in the comments below. 

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