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watchOS 9: Here’s what we know so far about new features, supported devices, and more

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Now that WWDC 2022 is a couple of weeks from now, we’re gearing up for the release of watchOS 9. This will mark the next major release of Apple’s software platform for the Apple Watch. Head below as we recap all of the latest rumors and expectations for watchOS 9 this year, including new features, release info, and more. 

When will watchOS 9 be announced?

watchOS 9 will likely be announced on June 6, during WWDC 2022’s keynote. The event will be online, although some students and developers will be able to attend the keynote in person at Apple Park.

Following the announcement, Apple will test the operating system for a few months until it’s released for all users around September, as the company has done over the past years.

watchOS 9 supported devices

One of the biggest questions people have every year is whether or not Apple will drop support for any older Apple Watch model. With last year’s release of watchOS 8, Apple maintained compatibility with all of the devices that were supported by watchOS 7, although limiting many functions.

As rumors point out that Apple could finally ditch the Apple Watch Series 3 from its lineup, it’s most likely that watchOS 9 could be the last update for the 2017 smartwatch. The reason why Apple could keep it going for another year is its affordable price and compatibility with Apple Fitness+. Here’s the list of devices that should support watchOS 9:

  • Apple Watch Series 7
  • Apple Watch Series 6
  • Apple Watch SE
  • Apple Watch Series 5
  • Apple Watch Series 4
  • Apple Watch Series 3

New features in watchOS 9

Although little is known about watchOS 9, Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman gives a few tidbits about what to expect from this year’s watchOS thanks to rumors about Apple Watch Series 8. Here are some of the features that we should expect with the next operating system for the Apple Watch, as posted in his Power On newsletter:

  • Afib burden detection, or the ability to monitor how often a user is in a state of atrial fibrillation over a particular period;
  • A low-power mode that works with apps and features, expanding upon the Power Reserve toggle;
  • Satellite connectivity for sending short text messages and SOS alerts to emergency services when away from cellular connectivity;
  • New sleep tracking feature;
  • New women’s health and medication tracking features within the Health app;
  • New workouts;
  • New and revamped watch faces.

Bloomberg also reported that Apple wants to dramatically upgrade the low power state function. The company is also readying updates to many of its built-in watch faces. Gurman says Apple aims to ‘refresh many’ of its faces.

9to5Mac’s Take

hidden Apple Watch health features

We expect more details on watchOS 9 to emerge as we approach WWDC 2022 kicking off on June 6. In the meantime, however, it looks like watchOS 9 could be an interesting upgrade, with Apple focusing on the bigger screens with better fitness tracking.

What do you hope to see in watchOS 9? What’s on the top of your wishlist? Let us know down in the comments.

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