WRISTS at the ready: the Apple Watch Series 9 is here and it’s made the smash-hit smartwatch even smarter.
I’ve been lucky enough to try out the new ticker for a week now and I won’t be taking it off any time soon.
The Apple Watch Series 9 is the latest entry to the line-up with some very clever tricks[/caption]
The device now has a Double Tap feature to control the watch without actually touching it[/caption]
The list of things an Apple Watch can do has ballooned over the years.
So much so that it feels unimaginable that all of this power can pack into something that lives on your wrist.
And with the new Series 9, Apple has managed to cram in even more mind-blowing tech.
At the heart of the Series 9 is Apple’s new S9 SiP chip.
Computer chips feature transistors, which are tiny electronic switches that allow computing to be done.
It’s not an exact science, but generally more transistors equals better performance.
And Apple has managed to squeeze a whopping 5.6billion on to its new Apple Watch chip – that’s 60% over its predecessor.
The result is a snappy watch that never seems to struggle with anything.
It’s not just the Apple Watch innards that have been upgraded either.
The display is now twice as bright as the Series 8, reaching a maximum brightness of 2,000 nits.
It’s perfect if you spend a lot of time outdoors – the watch face is easily visible even in direct sunlight.
Perhaps more excitingly, the watch now dims to just a single nit, which you might find handy at the movies.
The headline upgrade for the Apple Watch Series 9 is the magical new Double Tap feature.
It lets you control certain parts of your Apple Watch without actually touching it.
All you need to do is tap your index finger and thumb together twice with your Apple Watch hand.
The Apple Watch uses some clever analysis of your hand – including changes to your blood flow – to know when you’re doing the movement.
I was able to try it out at the Apple event in California, and then again on a separate review unit with an early build of the Double Tap software (as it’s not out until October).
I found it very easy to get used to, and didn’t seem to accidentally trigger.
Once the habit forms, it’s a great addition – I think the best uses are answering calls and pausing music.
But you can also use it to start and stop timers, reply to messages, and access your Apple Watch widgets panel.
Not having to reach over to your watch might seem like a small upgrade, but it feels surprisingly mighty.
Siri has also been upgraded on the Series 9.
Apple says Siri dictation is 25% better.
I’ve never had an issue with it, but might be useful particularly if you’ve got a very thick accent
In any case, I recommend everyone tries using it.
Siri dictation is a really overlooked feature that is easier and more convenient to use than you probably realised.
Another boost to Siri (which isn’t available yet but is coming soon) is asking Siri about your Apple Health data.
You’ll be able to quickly check how much sleep you got, find out about your average walking heart rate, and even log the medication you’ve just taken.
Many Apple Watch owners will also tell you that one of its bestis being able to make your iPhone ‘ping’.
It’s perfect for finding a handset that’s fallen behind a sofa cushion.
Now this feature has been upgraded to give you distance and directions to the iPhone too.
It makes it even harder to misplace your iPhone.
I tried it from about 15ft away and it worked without a hitch, connecting almost instantly
Apple’s website seems to suggest it’ll work even at a distance of 20ft, which should be plenty to find your misplaced mobile.
The new Series 9 runs on watchOS 10, which isn’t exclusive to the new model but is handy nonetheless.
Apps have been redesigned to serve up more info.
And you can now twist the Digital Crown to instantly bring up your Smart Stack of widgets.
Customisation is one of the best things about an Apple Watch, and the Series 9 has plenty to offer.
You can choose from the base Aluminium design, or pay extra ($300 extra) for the Stainless Steel upgrade.
If you choose Aluminium then you’ll be able to get the Series 9 in, Midnight, Starlight, Silver, or Red.
And Stainless Steel is available in Gold, Silver, and Graphite options.
There are endless new bands available to pair with your hi-tech timepiece.
But a personal favourite is the new Nike Sport Band.
It’s made from a high-performance fluoroelastomer and comes in six colours.
But it’s also speckled with coloured flecks that are from other recycled bands.
That means no two Nike Sport watch bands are exactly the same.
The Series 9 itself is also generally eco-friendly, landing as Apple’s first carbon-neutral gadget – in part thanks to heavy use of recycled materials.
Of course the Apple Watch Series 9 stands on the shoulders of giants.
As well as the new features, it boasts an entireof tricks that have built up over the years on previous .
You can still track your health and workouts, as well as running an ECG to check for heart rhythm irregularities.
There’s a built-in sensor to measure your blood oxygen levels, as well as tracking for sleep and menstrual cycles.
Fall detection will automatically alert emergency services if you’re unresponsive after hitting the ground.
And you can use it to listen to podcasts and music, with local storage now expanded to 64GB for the first time.
Another little-known perk is the ability to add Apple Pay to your watch so you can check-out at shops without having to reach for a wallet or your iPhone.
WATCH THIS SPACE
The Apple Watch is so far beyond a regular watch now that it’s hard to even compare them.
At the most basic level, the Apple Watch means you have to spend less time reaching into your pocket for the iPhone.
The workout tracking is excellent, and can genuinely help you get fitter.
But arguably the best value comes from the health features on offer.
There are now multiple tricks that could lead to your life being saved, which is hard to put a price on.
Of course, it’s also an attractive bit of kit that is highly customisable.
And watchOS updates means even your older watches still get more powerful each year.
The Series 9 doesn’t add enough to become a must-have for a Series 8 owner.
But if you’re using an older Apple Watch – or not using one at all – then this is a great time to upgrade thanks to the new Double Tap feature.
The only warning I’d give is that industry experts are predicting a big upgradeyear to mark the gadget’s 10th anniversary.
But that might not happen, and the Series 9 could be bringing you joy and staving off health nightmares in the meantime.
My top two new features: the magical Double Tap and the super-charged ‘Ping’ to find a lost iPhone,
The Sun says: The Series 9 packs an absurd amount of features into a tiny pod that sits on your wrist. And for some buyers, it might end up being the best $399/£399 they ever spend. 5/5
The Apple Watch Series 9 is available to pre-order for $399 / £399, and is on sale from Friday, September 22.
All prices in this article were correct at the time of writing, but may have since changed.
Always do your own research before making any purchase.
Here you can see one of the new Nike Sport Bands flecked with recycled material from other bands[/caption]
The new watch starts at $399 / £399[/caption]
It comes in a range of cases and colours, including an attractive Pink Aluminium option[/caption]
September 20, 2023 at 06:30PM
from The Sun