WatchOS 9: Rumoured features, potential release date, wishlist, and more - MrLiambi's blog


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Friday, 8 April 2022

WatchOS 9: Rumoured features, potential release date, wishlist, and more

Apple typically releases the next-generation Apple Watch series in autumn alongside an updated version of watchOS, the operating system designed to power Apple Watch. Later this year, Apple is expected to announce Apple Watch 8 with watchOS 9. In this guide, we'll go over everything you need to know about watchOS 9 - we're rounding up all details as they leak.

Plus, we're including our personal wishlist.

WatchOS 9: Release date

  • Unveil date: Likely at WWDC in June 2022
  • Beta date: Likely around July 2022
  • Official release date: Likely September 2022

Apple usually announces a major software update for the Apple Watch at its annual developer conference, WWDC, which is then followed by a beta for developers and a public beta that anyone can test. An official rollout for all newer Apple Watch models likely won't arrive until autumn - or at the same time as the next Apple Watch. For reference, Apple announced watchOS 8 and its developer beta in June 2021. The first public beta went live in July 2021, and the official release happened in September 2021. So, expect watchOS 9 to debut in June, with the public beta to follow in July and a full launch in September 2022.

WatchOS 9: How to try the public beta

The watchOS 9 public beta is not yet available. It will probably go live this summer after the developer beta. Pocket-lint will update this guide to tell you when it becomes available. At that time, you will be able to install it quickly and easily. Just go to the website for Apple's beta software program and then follow the on-site instructions. It's free and takes less than 5 minutes to complete.

WatchOS 9: Which Apple Watches are compatible?

  • watchOS 9 compatibility: Likely Apple Watch 4 and up (including the SE)

The latest Apple Watch 7 and even the Apple Watch SE (2020) are shoo-ins to get watchOS 9. Honestly, if we had to guess, the Apple Watch 3 - a four-year-old smartwatch - is probably on the chopping block, given there are rumours it'll be discontinued in 2022. We suspect Apple Watch 4, Apple Watch 5, and Apple Watch 6 will be eligible for watchOS 9, but nothing is confirmed.

WatchOS 9: Rumoured features

Little is known about watchOS 9 right now because it's not yet available. Only a couple of things have leaked out about the software - but please take this all with a grain of salt until Apple announces watchOS 9.

Body temperature readings

Mark Gurman of Bloomberg has claimed there could be three Apple Watch models with a body temperature sensor. If so, expect watchOS 9 to have software features to enable this special new hardware.

Glucose monitoring 

Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has suggested a glucose sensor might not appear on the Apple Watch for years to come, depsite rumours suggesting it could appear on the Series 8. Either way, if the next Apple Watch does have a glucose sensor, expect watchOS 9 to have software features that allow you to easily monitor when your blood sugar drops or spikes.

Car crash detection

The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple is thought to be developing a new feature for the iPhone and Apple Watch that can tell if you've been in a car accident and automatically dial emergency services.

WatchOS 9: Wishlist

Pocket-lint will update this guide with a wishlist of features that the site's editorial team hopes for - but, in the meantime, here's a feature this article's author either wishes for or expects in watchOS 9:

Wrist ID

A patent was filed by Apple for a light sensor on the back of its Watch that would shine light onto the user's wrist and generate a field image of the area. The image would feature veins from your arm and act as unique as a fingerprint, allowing the Apple Watch to recognise who has put the Apple Watch on and unlocking it. Although this is a patent, we'd love it to see it come to fruition. 

Third-party faces

While there are dedicated apps that allow you to use third-party faces, it's not a native experience. We'd like to see full support added so that accessing them can be as easy as finding Apple's own ones.

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