WatchOS 9 Could Help the Apple Watch Catch Up to Fitbit and Garmin

The software that powers the Apple Watch is getting an upgrade.

Apple announced WatchOS 9 at its Worldwide Developers Conference, where it showcased new fitness features for runners, better sleep tracking, an app for tracking medications and new watch faces.

The update will debut in the fall for the Apple Watch Series 4 and higher, and a developer preview is available immediately.

With WatchOS 9, the Apple Watch will gain new metrics intended to help runners better understand their performance and reduce risk of injury.

Heart rate zones will give you deeper insight into the intensity of your workout in WatchOS 9.

A new workout view will let you see more information at a glance, such as segments, splits and elevation

A new multisport workout option will let triathletes easily switch between run, bike and swim tracking.

Apple is adding a custom exercise option, too, that permits an interval workout that incorporates rest. 

Apple is also improving its sleep analysis by bringing Sleep Stages to its smartwatches, that will tell you how much time you spent in REM, core and deep sleep, giving a more comprehensive picture of sleep

A new Medications app is also coming to WatchOS 9. The app is meant to make it easier to log medicine and set regular reminders to take specific medicine , even without an Apple Watch.

Such features will help Apple close the gap between its smartwatches and rival devices from companies like Fitbit, Garmin and Oura.


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