WatchOS 9 will add sleep stages and heart rate zones to Apple Watch

WatchOS 9 will add sleep stages and heart rate zones to Apple Watch

This story is part of WWDC 2022CNET’s full coverage of and about the annual Apple Developer Conference.

WatchOS 9, the next major software update Apple WatchIt will bring you many new ways to keep track of your health. Apple previewed the update Monday during its annual release Worldwide Developers ConferenceIt showcased new fitness features for runners, better sleep tracking, a medication tracking app and new watch faces.

The ad shows Apple’s focus on health and fitness as key selling points for the Apple Watch. New operating and sleep tracking metrics should help Apple bridge the capacity gap between its smartwatches and competing devices from companies like Fitbit, Samsung, Garmin and Oura. The update will first appear in the fall on Apple Watch Series 4 and later. A developer preview is available immediately, while the public beta will launch next month.


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With WatchOS 9, Apple Watch will gain new metrics aimed at helping runners better understand their performance and reduce the risk of injury. They include vertical oscillation, stride length, and ground contact time. The new exercise view will let you see more information at a glance, such as sections, splits, and elevation.

Heart rate zones will give you a deeper insight into your workout intensity in WatchOS 9. A new multi-sport workout option will allow athletes to easily switch between running, cycling and swimming tracking. Apple is adding a dedicated workout option, too, that allows for an interval workout that includes rest.

Apple is also improving sleep analysis by bringing sleep stages to its smartwatches. As the name suggests, sleep stages will tell you how much time you spent in REM, basic, and deep sleep. Fitness trackers from Fitbit, Samsung, and others have rolled out this feature previously, so this add-on should speed up your Apple Watch.

Read more: Apple Watch will soon track your sleep

WatchOS 9 will bring some improvements to atrial fibrillation detection. Your Apple Watch will now be able to provide more context with a new feature called AFib history, which tracks frequency and other trends related to your heart’s condition.

A new medication app is coming to WatchOS 9. The app aims to make it easier to record medications and set regular reminders to take certain medications and vitamins, even without an Apple Watch. You’ll be able to add medications by scanning a label or typing the name manually. The app will display information about drug interactions as well.

The update will bring four new watch faces and support for six new keyboard languages. The new watch faces are called Lunar, Playtime, Metropolitan and Astronomy. Other features include less cluttered notifications when the Apple Watch is in use, new quick actions to answer calls or take a photo with a dual-dial gesture and a redesigned dock that prioritizes apps currently in use.

New software updates for major Apple products are usually the cornerstone of WWDC. Apple is using the opening word as an opportunity to get excited about new features and updates before the software arrives later in the year. Although nearly all of the conference takes place this year, Apple hosted a special event for developers and students on Monday at its Apple Park campus.

Apple has maintained its leading position in the smartwatch industry. Apple accounted for 36.1% of smartwatch shipments in the first quarter of 2022, which is an increase from 35.9% in the same period last year, according to Counterpoint Research. Apple accounted for 28.9% of core and smartwatch shipments in the first quarter of 2022, according to a report from research firm Canalys.


Now play:
Watch this:

Sleep stages come with Watch OS9


12:04

Learn more about Apple’s top announcements at WWDCCheck out everything we’ve learned iOS 16 And the macOS Ventura.

2022-06-07 00:36:00

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