watchOS 9 could bring major updates to Apple Watch health tracking

watchOS 9 should bring updates in terms of Apple Watch activity and health tracking, with some brand new health-tracking features excepted.

A closeup photograph of a female athlete's hand wearing an Apple Watch showing the Move, Exercise and Stand rings nearly closed
Image credit: Solen Feyissa / Unsplash
  • watchOS 9 and other Apple OS updates will be previewed at the upcoming WWDC event in June before they release to the general public in the fall
  • The watchOS 9 software is expected to get major upgrades to activity and health tracking, according to reliable sources
  • Apple Watch hardware will be refreshed in the fall but don’t expect fancy new sensors such as the rumored body-temperature sensor

watchOS 9 could boost Apple Watch health tracking

The ninth iteration of the software powering the Apple Watch will be previewed at this year’s WWDC, which kicks off with a keynote on June 9. Writing in his Power On newsletter on Bloomberg, reporter Mark Gurman has learned from his sources that watchOS 9 packs in pretty major upgrades to activity and health tracking without detailing what those might be. Read: Tips for setting up Apple Watch

On the iOS side, Gurman expects some fairly significant enhancements across the board, including “an update to notifications and new health-tracking features,” which also sounds like new Apple Watch features.

Gurman has shared code names for the upcoming Apple OS software:

  • iOS 16 (Sydney)
  • macOS 13 (Rome)
  • tvOS 16 (Paris)
  • watchOS 9 (Kincaid)

What else has Gurman learned from sources?

Gurman shared other predictions for the event. Does he think Apple could preview its heavily rumored mixed-reality headset at WWDC to give key developers plenty of time to ready their apps? No, that’s unlikely to happen—Gurman says Apple would likely miss that date, instead opting to announce the head-worn accessory at the end of this year or next year. Read: How to adjust app icon size on iPad

While WWDC is unlikely to serve as a launchpad for an Apple headset, Gurman thinks Apple might preview its rOS (Reality Operating System) software at WWDC. The iOS 16 beta, he was told, is “chock-full of references to the headset and its interactions with the iPhone.” On the iOS side, no major visual changes are expected but the iPad might get a revamped multitasking interface with iPadOS 16. On the Apple Watch side, Gurman expects Apple to unveil new activity and heat-tracking Apple Watch features with a preview of the watchOS 9 software.