Two weeks after announcing the upgrade at WWDC and providing the second beta to developers, Apple today seeded the third beta of an anticipated watchOS 9 update to developers for testing purposes.
Developers must acquire the configuration profile from the Apple Developer Center in order to install watchOS 9. After it has been set up, watchOS 8 may be downloaded through the iPhone’s dedicated Apple Watch app by selecting General > Software update. An Apple Watch must have 50% battery life or more, be connected to a charger, and be within range of an iPhone in order to get software updates.
In addition to updating several current watch faces and complications, watchOS 9 provides four new watch faces: Lunar, Playtime, Metropolitan, and Astronomy. The AFib History feature of the ECG app now allows users to log how long they have experienced atrial fibrillation.
The Apple Watch can now track users’ sleep stages, including REM, Core, and Deep sleep, and Apple has also included a Medications app. Users of the Drugs app may track and manage their vitamins, supplements, and prescription medications, and receive alerts when it’s time to take them.
The Workout app has been updated to include personalized routines and enhancements for swimmers, triathletes, and runners. Those without an Apple TV can now broadcast Fitness+ workouts to some third-party TVs, and notifications have been updated to be less intrusive when the watch’s screen is on.
There are also changes to the Reminders and Calendar apps, a CallKit API that enables VOIP calls to be answered on the Apple Watch, Apple Watch Mirroring for controlling the Apple Watch with an iPhone, Quick Actions for performing more with a double-pinch gesture, and more.
WatchOS 9 is now only available to developers, but Apple intends to release a public beta version later this summer in advance of the fall introduction of the software along with new Apple Watch models.