8 Health Features Coming to watchOS 9 Revealed at WWDC
The Apple Watch is about to get a lot of new features we're excited about. During this year's Worldwide Developer's Conference (WWDC), Apple revealed a bunch of new health features coming to watchOS 9.
While some features are related to workouts and will be great for fitness junkies, other features might even be life-saving, and they'll make the Apple Watch the go-to option for many people who are looking to track their health.
Read on to see the eight new watchOS health features we can't wait to try out.
Since the Apple Watch is water-resistant, it's the perfect companion for any workout you do, even swimming. And you won't want to miss the new swimming enhancements coming to watchOS 9.
There'll be a new feature called Kickboard detection, which will be added as a new type of stroke for the Pool Swim workouts.
The Apple Watch will be capable of detecting when you're swimming with a kickboard and classifying the type of stroke.
Not only that, but if you're an avid swimmer, you'll also be able to track your SWOLF score, which is a score that takes stroke length, count, and the time you take to swim in the pool to determine your swimming efficiency. You'd want to aim at the lowest number possible, similar to golf.
More Running Metrics Will Also Be Available
There will also be a lot of new and powerful running metrics available in the Workout app.
You'll be able to track Stride, Length, Ground Contact Time, and Vertical Oscillation. You can watch all these metrics while you're working out, or you can have a closer look at all your progress by using the Health app on your iPhone.
Race Against Yourself
They say you don't have to compare yourself to others. Instead, you need to worry about improving at least a little bit each day. And with this new feature added to the Workout app, that's more possible than ever.
Apple Watch users can now choose to compete against their best result while you're running on your most frequently used routes. You can also compete against your last result to see how much you improve over time.
When you're running, your Apple Watch will give you a notification to let you know how well you're doing and if you're ahead or behind yourself.
There's also a new pacer feature. You can set a goal for the time and distance you want to complete, and the pacer will automatically calculate the pace you need to hit in order to achieve that goal.
As we mentioned, fitness junkies will love the watchOS 9 updates, but triathlon athletes also are able to make the most out of their Watch.
Apple introduced the Multisport workout, which is a type of workout that'll automatically switch between swimming, biking, and running.
Your Apple Watch will use its motion sensors to detect the workout you're doing and switch automatically. You'll be able to see the data for all three workouts on the summary page of the Fitness apps.
A New Medications App
This new app will be an instant hit for a lot of people. Apple is introducing a new Medications app that'll help you keep track of everything you need to take in a day.
You'll be able to manage and track your medications with your iPhone or Apple Watch.
You'll be able to add your medications, vitamins, or supplements to the app. You can create your own list and set reminders so you'll never forget about taking your medications ever again.
On top of that, US users will get an extra feature that'll show you all the possible interactions of the medicine you take.
You'll get an alert if there's a critical interaction that might cause you any harm if you consume something combined with your pill. For instance, you'll get notified that drinking alcohol can have side effects depending on the medication you take.
More Sleep Metrics
The Sleep app was a bit too underwhelming for a lot of users, but Apple plans to change that with watchOS 9.
Your Apple Watch will bring more features to the table, including the possibility to track the quality of your sleep. Your Apple Watch will use its accelerometer and heart rate sensor to detect if you're in REM sleep (where most dreams occur), Core, or Deep Sleep stages.
You can track your sleep stages with the help of your iPhone or Apple Watch, and you'll also get additional information like your heart and respiratory rates.
Heart Rate Zones
Apple's also introducing Heart Rate Zones. This feature will help you monitor the intensity of a workout.
The goal of this feature is to get your heart pumping. The more your heart pumps, the better your health will be overall. So you can create different workouts with different zones, workout structures, and even rest intervals.
Your Apple Watch can create these Heart Rate Zones automatically, but you can customize them to fit all your needs.
You'll also get notifications about the pace, heart rate, and cadence to help you push yourself to the limit.
New AFib History Feature
Thanks to the ECG app, your Apple Watch can help you detect possible atrial fibrillation (AFib), which can cause many health problems for you and even produce a stroke.
Not only that but the more time you spend in atrial fibrillation, the more problems you can have. Now, with watchOS 9, people diagnosed with AFib can track how often their heart rhythm shows signs of AFIB with the help of AFib History.
You'll get weekly and monthly insights into what your heart rhythm was like, and you can even download that information as a PDF file and share it with your health provider.