Apple today introduced the Apple Watch Series 9 with the new S9 chipset, double-tap hand gestures and Precision Finding for iPhone. It is the successor to last year’s Series 8, which introduced body temperature measurement, cycle tracking and crash detection. The S9 chip has 60% more transistors and is 30% faster than the S8 chip. It also comes with a four-core neural engine that is twice as fast.
Siri requests are now processed directly on the Apple Watch, making them faster and more secure. In addition, the voice assistant can also access health data for the first time. Thanks to the secure processing on the device, dictation on the Series 9 is also up to 25% more accurate than on the Series 8. The battery life remains the same at 18 hours.
Thanks to Ultra Wideband support, the Apple Watch Series 9 can use Precision Finding with an iPhone for the first time, just like with AirTags. The Apple smartwatch is also deeper integrated into the HomePod. If you get within four meters of an active HomePod, the Series 9 automatically starts “Now Playing” to control the media. If the HomePod is not playing anything, the watch displays media suggestions at the top of the Smart Stack.
The Series 9 also features a brighter Always-On Retina display, which now reaches up to 2,000 nits. That’s twice as bright as the Apple Watch Series 8. At night or in the cinema, the brightness can be reduced to just one nit.
New double tap gesture
There is a new hand gesture called “double tap” to control the Apple Watch Series 9. You tap your thumb and index finger together like with the Apple Vision Pro headset without touching the display. In addition to answering or ending a call, you can also use gestures to stop a timer, snooze an alarm, pause music playback, access the Smart Stack, and more. To detect gestures, the accelerometer and blood oxygen sensor are used, which monitor tiny changes in movement and blood flow.
The Apple Watch Series 9 is made from more recycled materials and comes in a smaller, more environmentally friendly box. A new version of the Sport Loop band is also made from 82% recycled yarn. Leather bracelets are no longer available for new Apple Watches. Instead, “FineWoven” bracelets as well as versions from Hermès and Nike are available.
In addition to Starlight, Silver, Midnight and PRODUCT(RED), the Apple Watch Series 9 is also available in the new pink. The stainless steel version is available in silver, gold and graphite. Prices start at €449/$399. Pre-orders are already open, with sales starting on Friday September 22nd. Apple also today introduced the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus, the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max and the Watch Ultra 2.