Apple Seeds Releases Second WatchOS 9 Beta for Developers to Test
Apple on Tuesday launched the second beta version of watchOS 9 to developers for testing. The new beta comes two weeks after the initial beta of the upcoming Apple Watch operating system.
The beta version of watchOS 9 can be installed on an Apple Watch with the appropriate configuration profile installed, via the Watch app on the iPhone connected to the device. Go to “General” -> “Software Update” to install the beta. The watch must have at least 50% battery life, be connected to a charger, and be within range of the iPhone.
The new watchOS 9 offers more choices of watch faces, with richer complications with more information and customization possibilities. The updated Workout app brings advanced metrics, views, and workout experiences inspired by top athletes.
watchOS 9 also brings sleep stages to the Sleep app, and a new FDA-approved AFib history feature provides deeper insight into a user’s state. A new Medications app allows users to conveniently and discreetly manage, understand and track medications.
The new watchOS brings richer metrics to measure performance, as well as new workout experiences to help users achieve their fitness goals. The familiar Session View now uses the Digital Crown to switch between easy-to-read workout views, so users can see important metrics for different workout styles. Heart rate zones, which can be created manually or calculated automatically using personalized health data, can be used to monitor workout intensity. 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 through the workout.
Fitness+ workouts now show 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 treadmill runners.
Fitness+ subscribers without Apple TV can now use AirPlay to stream workouts and meditations with onscreen metrics to compatible third-party TVs and devices.
Users can create relaxation and bedtime schedules, as well as track their sleep to help them achieve their goals. Sleep tracking in watchOS 9 provides even more insight with the introduction of sleep stages. Using signals from the accelerometer and heart rate sensor, Apple Watch can detect when users are in REM, central, or deep sleep.
Users who are diagnosed with atrial fibrillation can enable the FDA-approved atrial fibrillation history feature, allowing them to access an estimate of how often a user’s heartbeat shows signs of atrial fibrillation , receive weekly notifications to understand the frequency, and view a detailed history in the Health app. Users can also download a PDF with a detailed history of their atrial fibrillation and lifestyle factors, which can easily be shared with doctors and healthcare providers for more informed conversations.
The new Medications app on Apple Watch and iPhone helps users manage and track their medications, vitamins and supplements, allowing them to create a medication list, set up schedules and reminders, and view information about their medications in the Health app. The Medications app on Apple Watch allows users to easily track medications anytime, anywhere.
Custom schedules can be created for each medication, whether it needs to be taken several times a day, once a week, or as needed, and users can set up reminders to help them stay on track. In the United States, users can receive an alert of potential critical interactions with medications they have added to the Health app.
Additional watchOS 9 updates
- Staying informed at all times is a powerful part of the Apple Watch experience, and in watchOS 9, notifications have been redesigned to be less disruptive yet impactful, arriving with new thin banners when the Apple Watch is 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 house keys and hotel keys in Apple Wallet.
- 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 pause or resume a training session. This builds on the innovative technology used in AssistiveTouch on Apple Watch, which gives users with upper body differences the ability to control Apple Watch with gestures like pinching or squeezing without having to press the screen.
- 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 support features such as voice control and switch control. Watch display. Apple Watch Mirroring uses hardware and software integration, as well as AirPlay-based advancements, to ensure that users who rely on these mobility features can benefit from unique Apple Watch apps such as Blood Oxygen, Heart Rate, Mindfulness , etc.
- 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 used are now promoted over the rest of the apps in the redesigned dockwhich makes it easier for users to come back to it.
- The Reminders app now allows users to add or edit key details such as date and time, location, tags and notes.
- Stay productive with the update 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 further support calendar event scrolling.
- Cardiac recovery is a useful fitness measure that can be an indicator of cardiovascular health. Apple Watch now provides heart rate recovery estimates after an outdoor walk, run, or hike workout, even when the workout isn’t at its maximum intensity. This metric can be tracked over time in the Health app.
- New APIs To allow developers to build best-in-class third-party apps, with CallKit and Sharesheet support, access to the Photo Picker, and the ability to integrate watchOS apps with Apple TV.
As usual, MacTrast and Apple are warning users not to install betas on their daily Apple Watch driver, especially early versions of new operating systems. Instead, only install beta versions on a device reserved for testing purposes.