New Apple Watch features we’re expecting later this year


Apple Watch SE (left), Apple Watch Series 7 (middle) and Apple Watch Series 3 (right).

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

You don’t need to buy a new one apple watch to get the latest features from Apple. The company typically adds more features every year through software updates that often don’t require the latest hardware.

Apples Watch OS 8 Update introduces new watch faces made from iPhone portrait mode photos, a new app called Mindfulness that replaces the Breathe app, and better workout detection for cycling. The software works on devices as old as the Apple Watch Series 3, although some features may require newer models.

We expect to get a preview of Apple’s next major Apple Watch software update at Global Developer Conference in June. Based on the rumors and reports we’ve seen so far, it looks like we can expect to see battery improvements and more health and safety features.

A new low-power mode

Apple has made no major improvements to the AppleWatch battery life recently, but there may be another fix coming soon. Apple plans to introduce a new Low Power Mode with WatchOS 9 that would allow devices to run certain apps and features without consuming as much power, according to Bloomberg. This appears to be different from the current Apple Watch power reserve feature, which only lets you see the time and disables other features to preserve battery life.

Apple Watch Series 7

Apple Watch Series 7 on its charger.

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

A new feature like the one described by Bloomberg could help offset the Apple Watch’s relatively short battery life, which typically lasts around a day and a half. This, combined with the Series 7’s faster charging, could significantly extend the battery life of the Apple Watch, which could be important if you’re using it for sleep tracking.

car accident detection

The Apple Watch can already assess your walking stability and tell if you have take a sudden fall. Then it may be able to detect car crashes. Apple plans to use sensors in the iPhone and Apple Watch to identify car crashes in real time, according to the Wall Street Journal. The novelty could arrive this year. It sounds like a feature Google already offers on its Pixel phones, which automatically calls emergency services and shares your location if it detects you’ve been in a serious car accident.


Google’s Safety app can detect car crashes.

Jason Cipriani/CNET

More health features including medication reminders

Health has been a top priority for Apple for years, and the company plans to go even further with its next software update. Apple may add new tools to the iPhone’s Health app this year, including medication reminders and new features for sleep tracking and women’s health, according to Bloomberg.

Although the report clarifies that this will be part of the Health app on the iPhone, it seems likely that these additions would also appear on the Apple Watch in some way, even if only by through notifications. The medication management feature would scan medications into the iPhone’s Health app and receive reminders, according to Bloomberg.

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Atrial Fibrillation Detection Enhancements

Apple may also improve how its watches can detect atrial fibrillation, which is a common type of heart arrhythmia that can increase your risk of stroke. The next Apple Watch software update could allow watches to detect what is called “burden”, according to Bloomberg, or how often a person experiences AFib over a certain period of time. The launch would come after Fitbit just got permission from the United States Food and Drug Administration for its atrial fibrillation detection technology.

New watch faces and workout types

Apple’s software updates usually introduce new watch faces and workout types, and it looks like WatchOS 9 will be no different. Bloomberg also reports that new watch faces and exercise modes will be part of Apple’s next software release, though it didn’t divulge many other details. New measures for runners would also be forthcoming.


The automatic detection of Apple Watch cycles.

Lexy Savvides/CNET

Apple has expanded its selection of Apple Watch workouts in recent years. It added Pilates, Tai Chi, and improved sensing for cycling workouts in WatchOS 8. He also provided support for watch dance workouts in 2020.

Compatibility with older Apple Watch models

Apple’s last two software updates were compatible with watches as old as Series 3, but there’s a chance that could change in 2022. Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst at TF International Securities known for his Apple predictions , recently said Series 3 might be retired as it won’t be able to support the new version of WatchOS. This means that WatchOS 9 will likely be compatible with Series 4 and later, although we won’t know for sure until Apple releases the software.


The Apple Watch Series 3

Sarah Tew/CNET

Apple launched the Series 3 in 2017 as the first model with built-in cellular functionality, allowing it to operate independently of the iPhone. Apple is still selling the Series 3 for $199 alongside the $279 Apple Watch SE and $399 Apple Watch Series 7. But we don’t recommend buying the Series 3 in 2022 because its specs are getting old. Its limited storage capacity also means updating is a hassle and there are better options for the price.

September launch date

If Apple sticks to its historic launch pattern, we can expect to see WatchOS 9 in September. Apple usually releases its new software alongside a new watch model, with 2021 being an exception. (Apple launched WatchOS 8 in September, but didn’t release the Apple Watch Series 7 until October).

While it will likely take until September, Apple is expected to detail the new features of WatchOS 9 at its Worldwide Developers Conference in June. It will also likely release a public beta version of the software soon after to allow watch owners to try out an unfinished version of the software before its official release.

What we want to see in WatchOS 9

It looks like Apple has a lot in store for WatchOS 9, but there are a few features on my personal wishlist that I would like to see. These include more detailed sleep tracking, features to help with rest and recovery after a workout, the ability to adjust activity goals for different days of the week, and more uses for the U1 chip. . Some of these features, especially sleep tracking and workout recovery, would help the Apple Watch catch up with competing devices from Oura and Fitbit.

If these reports prove to be accurate, health and wellness will once again be major themes in Apple’s software update. It’s another sign that the Apple Watch has evolved into a sophisticated health-tracking device capable of doing much more than just logging workouts and activities. The update will perfectly match the expectations Apple Watch Series 8which, according to Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal, will be the first to offer a temperature sensor.


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