Apple Watch is the most popular watch in the world – not the most famous smart watchmost popular Watch. Its success is due in large part to the way older models get better each year with the annual watchOS Update.
We expect watchOS 9 to launch this fall, along with the Apple Watch Series 8. But Apple will likely unveil watchOS 9 and its major new features at the WWDC major conference on June 6, followed by several months of beta testing.
While there have only been a few small rumors about what to expect, we have our own ideas of what we’d like to see. Here are a few things we hope Apple will announce when it unveils the next generation of watchOS.
Better Low Power Mode
The Apple Watch already has a low power mode called Power Reserve, but it’s very basic. It makes the power last four times longer but renders your watch useless for anything other than checking the current time. The good news is that a more powerful low-power mode may already be on the way. A Bloomberg report says it’s in watchOS 9 cards, though we don’t know exactly how it will work.
Better low power mode, that’s not the case completely Useless, is what we want. It can close things like heart rate monitoring, most accelerometer functions, as well as third-party apps, while still showing the full watch face and notifications, for example. It might only make the battery last 48 hours instead of 72 hours, but it would be a much better option for those who will be away from the charger for a long time.
custom watch faces
Rumor has it that watchOS 9 will update and update some of the existing faces, which is definitely necessary but not enough. We’ve wanted custom watch faces on the Apple Watch since the beginning, and Apple still hasn’t made it. There are a lot of copyright and intellectual property issues to address, but there are plenty of opportunities too!
Instead of just giving developers free rein to design and sell watch faces, I imagine some kind of “FaceKit” framework and developer toolkit. Much like WidgetKit, it will provide standard fonts, widgets, animation templates, and other things to make faces look like Apple, while still keeping enough firewalls on developers to keep the Apple Watch experience. But like widgets on iOS, developers will still have enough freedom to make cool and unique faces.
Better sleep tracking
Sleep tracking was finally added to the Apple Watch in watchOS 7, and watchOS 8 made it a little better by adding the ability to track your breathing when you sleep.
But the Apple Watch is still not a great sleep tracker. Apps like AutoSleep do better at automatically detecting when you’re sleeping, and tracking when you’re in a deep sleep or not. I was expecting a simpler interface from Apple compared to most third-party sleep tracking apps, but I still wanted a better and clearer view on whether I got the good Sleep, not just how much you got. With a Fitbit-powered Pixel Watch on the way, your Apple Watch will need much better native sleep tracking — and watchOS 9 is a great way to start.
How is there no Health app on Apple Watch yet? It appears that half of the information in the Health app originated from the Apple Watch! There are health related apps like heart rate, cycle tracking, and ECG, but there is no app to browse your general health data in one place.
The Health app on your Apple Watch may need to be a bit more extensive compared to what’s on your iPhone, but it’s still useful for viewing your daily health metrics and trends. Apple could take another Fitbit page here, which has a well-organized Today dashboard to show all your daily activity totals. But anything that lets you see your stats without having to cycle through several apps would be a huge improvement.
Notes app with powerful Siri support
There is still no Notes app on the Apple Watch. Understandably, Apple might think we don’t want to do a lot of note-taking on this platform – entering text is kind of a slow pain.
But how cool would it be to raise your wrist and say, “Hey Siri, take a note…” and ask Siri to create a new note, synced with your other devices via iCloud, which includes dictating what you say and an audio recording as an attachment? Apple can also automatically flag any note created on your watch so it’s easy to find.
And of course, there are plenty of times when it might be a good idea to do Read A note on your watch, too. Like the Calculator app on the iPad or the Weather app on the Mac, it’s an app that scratches the edge of why there’s no rudimentary Notes app on the Apple Watch and it’s time for Apple to add one.