During a keynote at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, the company debuted the latest version of WatchOS, the operating system that runs on the Apple Watch.
Apple claims that 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 arrival of WatchOS 9, supported Apple Watch device models can now detect “burden,” or how often a person experiences AFib over a certain amount of time.
Apple was granted 501(k) approval from the U.S. Federal Food and Drug Administration this morning. As opposed to full approval, 501(k) approval doesn’t require companies to provide effectiveness data from clinical trials.
With WatchOS 9, supported Apple Watch models now show heart zones to get a sense of your intensity level. You can set up distance and time intervals, and there’s haptic and voice feedback to tell you when to switch modes while working out.
New complications and watch faces (including astronomy and lunar faces) and exercise modes are a part of the WatchOS 9 release, as well as “form metrics” for runners. There’s also a new workout type for triathletes that can auto-switch between cycling, swimming, and running. And for users who own a Meta Quest VR headset, Apple Watch can now show stats from Move, Meta’s fitness tracker for the Quest, on the Fitness mobile and Watch app.
Joining these are a new sleep-tracking feature: Sleep Stage. WatchOS 9 can detect REM, core, and deep sleep stages. Plus, WatchOS can now track medications and notify wearers when they need to take them. Most of the management is done via iOS in the Apple Health app, where you can scan a medication label to identify it.
Lastly, apps can be pinned for quick access in WatchOS 9. And there’s a revamped, streamlined Siri UI.
It’s unclear as of yet whether all Apple Watch models are due for the upgrade to WatchOS 9. WatchOS 8 supported the Apple Watch Series 3 onward, but it’s not uncommon for Apple to exclude older models over time — owing to limitations in those models’ hardware. With a public beta of WatchOS 9 due out soon — possibly this week — it fortunately won’t be long before we know for sure.
During a keynote at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, the company debuted the latest version of WatchOS, the operating system that runs on the Apple Watch. Apple claims that 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 Apps, Cloud, Developer, Gadgets, Hardware, Mobile, TC, Wearables, Apple, Apple Watch, Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple WWDC, Apple WWDC 2022, watchOS, Worldwide Developers Conference, wwdc 2022TechCrunch