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PRESS RELEASE 7 June 2022

watchOS 9 delivers new ways to stay connected, active and healthy

Introducing more customisable watch faces, an enhanced Workout app, sleep stages and an all-new Medications app
Five different Apple Watch Series 7 devices showcase new faces and features.
watchOS 9 brings new experiences and features, app updates, and creative ways to customise Apple Watch to fit any style.
CUPERTINO, CALIFORNIA Apple today previewed watchOS 9, which brings new features and enhanced experiences to the world’s leading wearable operating system. Apple Watch users will now have more watch faces to choose from, with richer complications that provide more information and opportunity for personalisation. In the updated Workout app, advanced metrics, views, and training experiences inspired by high-performing athletes help users take their workouts to the next level. watchOS 9 brings sleep stages to the Sleep app. The new Medications app makes it easy for users to conveniently and discreetly manage and track medications.
“Users around the world love Apple Watch for helping them stay connected to those they love, be more active throughout the day and better manage their health,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. “Later this year, watchOS 9 takes the Apple Watch experience to the next level with scientifically validated insights across fitness, sleep and heart health, while providing users more creative ways to make their Apple Watch their own.”

Watch Faces for Everyone 

The Apple Watch experience starts with watch faces, which give users the opportunity to express personal style while connecting them to relevant information at a glance through complications. watchOS 9 introduces four new faces: Lunar, which depicts the relationship between the Gregorian calendar and lunar calendar, used in many cultures such as Chinese, Islamic and Hebrew; Playtime, a dynamic piece of art that’s unique to Apple Watch and created in collaboration with artist Joi Fulton; Metropolitan, a classic, type-driven watch face where the style changes as the Digital Crown is rotated; and Astronomy, an original face that has been completely remastered and features a new star map and current cloud data.
watchOS 9 introduces enhanced and modernised complications on some of the most classic watch faces, such as Utility, Simple and Activity Analog, along with background colour editing for Modular, Modular Compact, and X-Large for additional personalisation. The new Portraits face showcases the depth effect on more photos, including cats, dogs and landscapes, while Chinese scripts have been added as options for California and Typograph watch faces. Focus now allows users to select an Apple Watch face to automatically appear when they start a specific Focus on iPhone, such as the Photos face during a Personal Focus, helping users stay in the moment.

Workout App Updates

The Workout app, one of the most popular apps on Apple Watch, has been updated to provide richer metrics for measuring performance, as well as new training experiences to help users reach fitness goals. The familiar in-session display now uses the Digital Crown to rotate between easy-to-read Workout Views, so users can see important metrics for different training styles. Heart Rate Zones, which can be manually created or automatically calculated using personalised Health data, can be used to monitor the intensity of a workout. Interval training is an important part of any training plan, and in watchOS 9, the Workout app introduces Custom Workouts, which can be used to create a structured workout that can include work and rest intervals. New alerts, including pace, power, heart rate and cadence, can be added to guide users throughout the workout.
For triathletes, the Workout app now supports a new Multisport workout type that automatically switches between any sequence of swimming, biking and running workouts, using motion sensors to recognise movement patterns. When each workout is complete, a redesigned summary page in the Fitness app offers additional details with interactive charts for more precise analysis.

Hit the Ground Running

Apple Watch is already a powerful tool for runners, and watchOS 9 brings more data and features to help track how efficiently users run. New running form metrics, including Stride Length, Ground Contact Time and Vertical Oscillation, can all be added as metrics on Workout Views. These metrics appear in the Fitness app summary and in the Health app, where users can see trends over time and learn from patterns.
Apple Watch Series 7 displays the new Vertical Oscillation metric.
New running form metrics like Stride Length and Vertical Oscillation help users track how efficiently they run.
Users can choose to race against their best or last result on frequently used routes, and receive alerts during the workout for being ahead or behind their pace, as well as when going off route. Additionally, a new pacer experience lets users choose a distance and goal for the time in which they want to complete a run, and calculates the pace required to achieve the goal. During the workout, they can follow the pace alerts and metrics provided.

Swimming Enhancements

Kickboard detection has been added as a new stroke type for Pool Swim workouts, using sensor fusion on Apple Watch to automatically detect when users are swimming with a kickboard and classify the stroke type in the workout summary along with distance swam. Swimmers can now track their efficiency with a SWOLF score — a stroke count combined with the time, in seconds, it takes to swim one length of the pool. Users can view their SWOLF average for each set in the workout summary.

Get More Out of Apple Fitness+ Workouts

Apple Fitness+ is the first fitness and wellness service built around Apple Watch, designed to be welcoming to all. It intelligently incorporates real-time workout metrics from Apple Watch right on the screen with iPhone, iPad or Apple TV, motivating users of all levels from start to finish. With watchOS 9, Fitness+ workouts now display on-screen guidance in addition to trainer coaching to help users get the most out of workouts, including: Intensity for HIIT, Cycling, Rowing and Treadmill; Strokes per Minute (SPM) for Rowing; Revolutions per Minute (RPM) for Cycling; and Incline for walkers and runners in Treadmill. 
Fitness+ subscribers without Apple TV can now use AirPlay to stream workouts and meditations with on-screen metrics to compatible third-party TVs and devices, allowing them to train anywhere, anytime.

Sleep Insights

The Sleep experience on Apple Watch already empowers users to create Wind Down and Bedtime schedules, as well as track their sleep to help them meet their goals. Sleep tracking in watchOS 9 provides even more insights with the introduction of sleep stages. Using signals from the accelerometer and heart rate sensor, Apple Watch can detect when users are in REM, Core or Deep sleep. Users will see sleep stage data on Apple Watch in the Sleep app and can view more detailed information, like time asleep, alongside additional metrics, like heart rate and respiratory rate, in sleep comparison charts in the Health app on iPhone.
The machine learning models were trained and validated against the clinical gold standard, polysomnography, with one of the largest and most diverse populations ever studied for a wearable. As the science of sleep is still being explored, users will be able to aid in potential discoveries by contributing their sleep stage data in the Apple Heart and Movement Study through the Research app.1
Sleep analysis, including sleep stages, is displayed on iPhone 13 Pro and Apple Watch Series 7.
watchOS 9 adds even more insights to the Sleep app with sleep stages. Using signals from the accelerometer and heart rate sensor, Apple Watch can detect when users are in REM, Core or Deep sleep.

Medications

The new Medications experience on Apple Watch and iPhone helps users manage and track their medications, vitamins and supplements, allowing them to create a medications list, and set up schedules and reminders in the Health app. The Medications app on Apple Watch makes it easy for users to conveniently and discreetly track medications anytime, anywhere.
A list of medications is displayed on iPhone 13 Pro, and a medication schedule alert is displayed on Apple Watch Series 7.
The new Medications experience on Apple Watch and iPhone helps users manage and track their medications, vitamins and supplements.
Custom schedules can be created for each medication, whether it needs to be taken multiple times a day, once a week or as needed, and users can set up reminders to help keep them on track. In the US, users can receive an alert if there are potential critical interactions with medications they have added to the Health app.2

Privacy

Privacy is fundamental in the design and development across all of Apple’s features. When a user’s iPhone is locked with a passcode, Touch ID or Face ID, all of their health and fitness data in the Health app — other than Medical ID — is encrypted. Any Health data backed up to iCloud is encrypted both in transit and on Apple servers.

Additional watchOS 9 Updates

  • Staying informed in the moment is a powerful part of the Apple Watch experience, and in watchOS 9, notifications have been redesigned to be less interruptive while still being impactful, arriving with new slimline banners when Apple Watch is being actively used.

  • Family Setup now supports the Home app so a child can be invited as a member to control HomePod speakers and smart home accessories.They can also use home keys and hotel keys in Apple Wallet.4

  • With new Quick Actions on Apple Watch, users can do even more with a double-pinch gesture, including answer or end a phone call, take a photo, play or pause media in the Now Playing app, and start, pause or resume a workout. This builds on the innovative technology used in AssistiveTouch on Apple Watch, which gives users with upper body limb differences the option to control Apple Watch with gestures like a pinch or a clench without having to tap the display.

  • Apple Watch becomes more accessible than ever for people with physical and motor disabilities with Apple Watch Mirroring, which helps users control Apple Watch remotely from their paired iPhone. With Apple Watch Mirroring, users can drive Apple Watch using iPhone’s assistive features like Voice Control and Switch Control — so they can navigate Apple Watch by using their voice, sound actions, head tracking, and external Made for iPhone switches as alternatives to tapping the Apple Watch display.5 Apple Watch Mirroring uses hardware and software integration, along with advances built on AirPlay, to ensure users who rely on these mobility features can benefit from unique Apple Watch apps like Blood Oxygen, Heart Rate, Mindfulness and more.

  • The QWERTY keyboard on Apple Watch Series 7 adds support for French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese (Brazil) and Spanish (Mexico, Spain, Latin America).

  • Apps that are actively in use are now promoted over the rest of the apps in the redesigned Dock, making it easier for users to quickly return to them.

  • The Reminders app now lets users add or edit key details such as date and time, location, tags and notes.

  • Stay productive with the updated Calendar app by creating new events directly from Apple Watch. For the first time, users can access a Week view in addition to updated List, Day and Month views to support more scrolling through calendar events.

  • Cardio Recovery is a useful fitness metric that can be an indicator of cardiovascular health. Apple Watch now provides estimates of Cardio Recovery after an Outdoor Walk, Run or Hiking workout, even when the workout does not reach peak intensity. This metric can be tracked over time in the Health app.

  • New APIs allow developers to build best-in-class third-party apps, with CallKit and share sheet support, access to Photos picker, and the ability to integrate watchOS apps with Apple TV.
Availability
The developer beta of watchOS 9 is available to Apple Developer Program members at developer.apple.com starting today. A public beta will be available to watchOS users next month at beta.apple.com. watchOS 9 will be available later this year as a free software update for Apple Watch Series 4 or later paired with iPhone 8 or later and iPhone SE (2nd generation) or later, running iOS 16. Some features may not be available in all regions or all languages, or on all devices. Features are subject to change. For more information, visit apple.com/au/watchos/watchos-preview.
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  1. The Apple Heart and Movement Study is available to iPhone and Apple Watch users across the US through the Research app.
  2. Medication and interaction information is evidence-based content licensed from Elsevier, a leading publisher of health and science information. The Medications feature should not be used as a substitute for professional medical judgement. Additional information is available on the labels of your medications, but please consult your healthcare provider prior to making any decisions related to your health.
  3. Access to latest home architecture requires a paired iPhone running iOS 16, a home hub (Apple TV or HomePod) for shared home, and activation of notifications from the Home app.
  4. Available on participating car brands and access properties.
  5. Apple Watch Mirroring is available on Apple Watch Series 6 or later.

Press Contacts

Loren Helmrich

Apple

lhelmrich@apple.com

+61 421 509 441

Nelly Assayag

Apple

nassayag@apple.com

+61 410 213 869