watchOS 9 was previewed last week during the WWDC 2022 keynote. While this will be the operating system for the future Apple Watch Series 8, rumors also believe Apple is readying a second-generation Apple Watch SE and a new extreme sports Apple Watch model. With what Apple previewed – and what I could test so far – I do think the company is teasing the extreme sports Watch with watchOS 9.
Connect the Watts‘s Colin Jenkins wrote about the best fitness features coming to the Apple Watch with watchOS 9, and it’s a great starting point on the hints Apple could be giving us regarding this extreme sports Apple Watch.
If you don’t recall, Bloomberg has been reporting since 2021 that an extreme sports Apple Watch model has been under consideration. Mark Gurman said that of the records, Apple describes this model as an “explorer” or “adventurer” edition.
Apple is considering to expand its lineup of Apple Watch models, with a new model that would be focused on athletes and extreme climbers and hikers. As reported by Bloomberg, the casing of this watch would feature a rugged design with impact shock resistance and protective exterior, similar to a Casio G-Shock watch.
In addition, Patently Apple discovered a patent application from Apple that offers sports-level waterproofing. It describes a more effective way to detect water ingress and to take action to protect the Watch. As the publication suggests, this could potentially mean Apple is targeting a sports-focused waterproofing scale measured in atmospheres or ATM with:
- 5 ATM: Pool diving
- 10 ATM: Surfing, snorkeling, rafting, and other surface-based activities
- 20 ATM: Sports scuba diving
watchOS 9 revamps exercises on the Workouts app
Yesterday, for the first time in a few months using Gentler Streak, I decided to give watchOS 9 new Workouts app a try, and I was really surprised about how much data I was able to take a glance at while doing my running exercise. With new Workout Views, I just need to turn the Digital Crown for new views of metrics like:
- Activity rings
- Heart Rate Zones
In addition, watchOS 9 lets me customize my workout by tailoring work and recovery intervals to suit my training style. I can receive alerts for pace, heart rate, cadence, and power. With instant feedback, I know if I’m on pace to meet my goal. Thanks to dynamic pacing, it helps me know whether I need to push a bit more.
With watchOS 9, I can now race a route. Whether on an outdoor run or cycling workout, I can choose to race against my last or best result and receive in-the-moment updates. With the new Running Form Metrics, I can add Stride Length, Ground Contact Time, and Vertical Oscillations to my Workout Views to understand how efficient my run is.
If that’s not enough hints, Apple is also adding a multisport feature by automatically transitioning between swim, bike, and run exercises.
Although little is known about this upcoming extreme sports Apple Watch model except for the rugged finish, it feels as if Apple is preparing watchOS 9 to improve how people exercise daily while also bringing even more possibilities for those who like/need to push even further.
watchOS 9 public beta is expected for next month, while the final version is expected for later this fall along with the Apple Watch Series 8.