Apple today unveiled its new Apple Watch Series 9, bringing several new features to the wrists of Apple Watch users everywhere. The new wearable also marks the achievement of several significant environmental milestones.
New S9 SiP
The Apple Watch Series 9 boasts a new S9 SiP, which provides increased performance and capabilities. The more powerful chip brings several new capabilities, including a new double-tap finger gesture, as well as on-device Siri, which can access and log health data privately and securely.
The S9’s new 4-core Neural Engine can process machine learning tasks up to twice as fast as was possible with the Apple Watch Series 8. The power efficiency of the S9 SiP allows Apple Watch Series 9 to provide all-day 18-hour battery life.
The S9 works with Apple’s upcoming watchOS 10 to provide redesigned apps, a new Smart Stack, new watch faces, new cycling and hiking features, and tools to support mental health.
New Double Tap Gesture
Apple Watch Series 9 offers a new double tap gesture, allowing users to easily control their Apple Watch Series 9 using just one hand and without touching the display. By tapping the index finger and thumb of their watch hand together twice, users can quickly and conveniently perform many of the most common actions on Apple Watch Series 9.
Double tap controls the primary button in an app so it can be used to stop a timer, play and pause music, or snooze an alarm. The gesture can be used to answer and end a phone call, and even to take a photo with the Camera Remote on Apple Watch. Double tap will also open the Smart Stack from the watch face, and another double tap will scroll through widgets in the stack.
The new gesture is courtesy of the Apple Watch Series 9’s faster Neural Engine, which processes data from the accelerometer, gyroscope, and optical heart sensor with a new machine learning algorithm, detecting tiny wrist movements and changes in blood flow when the index finger and thumb perform a double tap. The new gesture will be available in a software update, due in October.
The Apple Watch Series 9 display has a maximum brightness of up to 2000 nits — double that of Series 8 — making the display easier to read in bright sunlight. The display can also lower to just one nit, for use in dark environments.
Siri requests can now be processed on-device. For requests that do not require accessing the internet, such as starting a workout or setting a timer, Siri does not require a Wi-Fi or cellular connection, resulting in quicker and more reliable responses.
The S9’s Neural Engine also makes dictation up to 25% more accurate than the previous Apple Watch, and now Siri can be used to access data from the Health app for health- and fitness-related queries. Users can also tell Siri to log health data.
Precision Finding and HomePod Integration
The S9 SiP includes a second-generation Ultra Wideband (UWB) chip, enabling Precision Finding for the iPhone 15 lineup. Precision Finding provides distance and direction, as well as visual, haptic, and audio guidance to a misplaced iPhone, even if it is in a different room.
UWB also provides deeper integration between the Apple Watch and the HomePod. When an Apple Watch user gets within 4 meters of a HomePod playing audio, the Apple Watch Series 9 will launch “Now Playing” to control the media.
Reduced Carbon Footprint
Select case and band combinations of Apple Watch Series 9, Apple Watch Ultra 2, and Apple Watch SE are Apple’s first-ever carbon-neutral products. Emissions were reduced from the three biggest sources of greenhouse gases — materials, electricity, and transportation. The emissions remaining are offset with high-quality carbon credits from nature-based projects. Apple Watch packaging is now 100% fiber-based.
Apple Watch SE
Apple Watch SE will continue to provide the Apple Watch experience at a lower price point. Apple Watch SE offers Activity tracking, high and low heart rate notifications, Fall Detection, Emergency SOS, Crash Detection, and more.
Apple Watch bands are now available in FineWoven, a microtwill made of 68% post-consumer recycled content with significantly lower carbon emissions when compared to leather. FineWoven provides a suedelike feel, and is available with the Magnetic Link and Modern Buckle bands. Apple will no longer use leather in any new Apple product, including its watch bands.
Pricing and Availability
- Customers in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, Japan, the UAE, the U.K., the U.S., and more than 40 other countries and regions can order Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch SE today, with availability in stores beginning Friday, September 22.
- Apple Watch Series 9 starts at $399 (U.S.), and Apple Watch SE starts at $249 (U.S.).
- Apple Watch bands, Apple Watch Nike bands, and Apple Watch Hermès bands will be available to order today from apple.com/store and in the Apple Store app, with availability in stores beginning Friday, September 22.