Apple has a handful of additional features up its sleeve for Apple Watch Series 8 and Apple Watch Ultra owners before the end of the year, some of which are watchOS 9 features, meaning they’ll even work on older Apple Watch models. Here’s what we can expect.
1. Detection of traces
Apple will soon introduce a new track running tool that automatically detects when you reach the treadmill and combines Apple Maps data with GPS to provide a more accurate route map – including lane selection – and more accurate pace and distance measurements. Apple says Track Detection will arrive later this year in the United States through a software update for Apple Watch Series 4 and later models.
2. The route of the race
A new training feature specifically designed for runners, race course allows you to race with your best or last score on frequently traveled tracks. This feature will also offer session pace guidance to keep your progress competitive. Apple says Race Route is coming later this year on Apple Watch Series 4 and beyond.
3. International Roaming
For Apple Watch cellular models, Apple will soon introduce international roaming support. Apple says it has deals with 30 partners that support the feature, including Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile in the US, Three and O2 in the UK, and international operators including China Mobile, Movistar, and Softbank. Apple says international roaming will be available by the end of this year for the Apple Watch Series 5 and later mobile models.
4. Family configuration – home application support
Moving to Family Setup is support for the Home app, which will allow your child to be invited as a member to control HomePod speakers and smart home accessories. With additional support, children will also be able to use Apple Wallet home and hotel keys.
This feature depends on Apple’s new Home architecture, a separate update in the Home app, and will be available in a software update later this year. Note that sharing home control and receiving home notifications requires a home hub, and only Apple TV and HomePod are supported as home hubs in iOS 16.
5. Oceanic + application (Apple Watch Ultra)
Developed by Apple in collaboration with Huish Outdoors, Oceanic + is a built-in dive computer designed specifically for the “Apple Watch Ultra” models. As a free app on the App Store, Oceanic + will include depth tracking (including depth alarms), GPS tracking, logbook (up to 12 dives), snorkeling, and more.
For more advanced diving options such as no decompression limit, users will need to subscribe to the Oceanic + subscription ($ 4.99 / day, $ 9.99 / month, or $ 79 / year). Oceanic + will be available from the App Store later this fall.
6. Low power consumption mode (Apple Watch Ultra)
The Apple Watch Ultra has the best battery life of any Apple Watch, which can reach up to 36 hours with normal use. Apple does, however, have a new low-power setting that can extend battery life to 60 hours on a single charge.
Apple says this estimated battery life is based on the following use in Low Power Mode and with training settings turned on to reduce heart rate and GPS readings: 15 hours of training, over 600 time checks, 35 minutes of app use, 3 minutes of talk time and 15 hours of sleep tracking in 60 hours. Apple says the low power setting with reduced GPS and heart rate readings will be available later this fall.