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Apple Previews watchOS 9 with Customizable Watch Faces at WWDC

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Apple has just introduced watchOS 9, which brings new features and enhanced experiences, including the ability to have more Apple Watch faces to choose from, with richer complications that provide more information and opportunity for personalization.

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In the updated Workout app, advanced metrics, views, and training experiences inspired by high-performing athletes help users take their workouts to the next level. watchOS 9 brings sleep stages to the Sleep app, and a new FDA-cleared AFib History feature provides deeper insights into a user’s condition.

“This fall, watchOS 9 takes the Apple Watch experience to the next level with scientifically validated insights across fitness, sleep, and heart health, while providing users more creative ways to make their Apple Watch their own,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer.

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watchOS 9 introduces four new faces: Lunar, which depicts the relationship between the Gregorian calendar and lunar calendar, used in many cultures such as Chinese, Islamic, and Hebrew.

It also introduces enhanced and modernized complications on some of the most classic watch faces, such as Utility, Simple, and Activity Analog, along with background color editing for Modular, Modular Compact, and X-Large for additional personalization.

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The Workout app, one of the most popular apps on the Apple Watch, has been updated to provide richer metrics for measuring performance, as well as new training experiences to help users reach fitness goals.

The familiar in-session display now uses the Digital Crown to rotate between easy-to-read Workout Views, so users can see important metrics for different training styles. Heart Rate Zones, which can be manually created or automatically calculated using personalized Health data, can be used to monitor the intensity of a workout.

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Kickboard detection has been added as a new stroke type for Pool Swim workouts, using sensor fusion on Apple Watch to automatically detect when users are swimming with a kickboard and classify the stroke type in the workout summary.

Users can now also choose to race against their best or last result on frequently used routes and receive alerts during the workout for being ahead or behind their pace.

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Fitness+ subscribers without Apple TV can now use AirPlay to stream workouts and meditations with on-screen metrics to compatible third-party TVs and devices, allowing them to train anywhere, anytime.

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With watchOS 9, users who are diagnosed with AFib can turn on the FDA-cleared AFib History feature2 and access important information, including an estimate of how frequently a user’s heart rhythm shows signs of AFib, providing deeper insights into their condition.

The new Medications experience on Apple Watch and iPhone helps users manage and track their medications, vitamins, and supplements, creating a medications list and setting up schedules and reminders.

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The developer beta of watchOS 9 is available to download to Apple Developer Program members starting today. A public beta will be available to watchOS users next month at beta.apple.com.

watchOS 9 will be available this fall as a free software update for Apple Watch Series 4 or later paired with iPhone 8 or later and iPhone SE (second generation) or later, running iOS 16.

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