WatchOS 9 adds new modes and watch faces

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During a keynote at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, the company unveiled the latest version of WatchOS, the operating system that runs on the Apple Watch.

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Apple claims it has improved the Apple Watch’s ability to detect arterial fibrillation (AFib), an irregular heartbeat that can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure, and other heart-related complications. With the advent of watchOS 9, supported Apple Watch device models can now detect “load,” or how often a person experiences atrial fibrillation over a period of time. The apple was granted 501(k) FDA approval this morning; unlike a full approval, a 501(k) approval does not require companies to provide data on the effectiveness of clinical trials.

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With watchOS 9, supported Apple Watch models now show heart rate zones to help you understand your intensity level. You can adjust distance and time intervals, and tactile and voice feedback will tell you when to switch modes during your workout.

New complications and watch faces (including a new astronomical watch face and a new moon watch face with support for various lunar calendars) and exercise modes are part of the release of watchOS 9, as well as new “shape metrics” for runners (the Apple Watch accelerometer). and the gyroscope will determine your running form, stride length and ground contact time). There is a new workout type for triathletes that can automatically switch between cycling, swimming and running.

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They are joined by a new sleep tracking feature: Sleep Stage. WatchOS 9 can detect the stages of REM, core and deep sleep. And, through the redesigned Health app on iOS, new women’s health and medication tracking services. And for users who have a Meta Quest VR headset, Apple Watch now shows stats from Move, the Meta fitness tracker for Quest, the Fitness mobile app, and the Watch app listed under Fitness Gaming.

In watchOS 9, apps can be pinned for quick access. And there’s an updated, streamlined Siri user interface.

It’s not yet clear if all Apple Watch models qualify for the update to watchOS 9. WatchOS 8 supported Apple Watch Series 3 and above, but it’s not uncommon for Apple to drop older models over time due to the hardware limitations of those models. . The watchOS 9 public beta due out soon – possibly this week – thankfully it won’t be long before we know for sure.

Learn more about WWDC 2022 at TechCrunch


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