Apple has unveiled the Apple Watch Series 9, which comes with a host of new features and marks a significant environmental achievement. The latest iteration of the world’s best-selling smartwatch boasts enhanced performance and capabilities thanks to the new S9 System in Package (SiP). It introduces a magical new double tap gesture, a brighter display, faster on-device Siri with the ability to access and log health data, Precision Finding for iPhone, and more.
The Apple Watch Series 9 runs on watchOS 10, which brings redesigned apps, the innovative Smart Stack, fresh watch faces, new features tailored for cycling and hiking enthusiasts, and tools designed to support mental health. In a groundbreaking move, customers can now opt for a carbon-neutral version of any Apple Watch, representing a significant step towards Apple’s 2030 goal of achieving carbon neutrality across its entire business, manufacturing supply chain, and product life cycle.
The new Apple Watch lineup is available for pre-order today, with availability starting on Friday, September 22.
Jeff Williams, Apple’s Chief Operating Officer, remarked, “Apple Watch is an indispensable companion that helps millions of people with their health, fitness, communications, and safety. We’re introducing our best Apple Watch lineup, with incredible new capabilities and technological advancements, including a new double tap gesture, brighter display, on-device Siri, as well as our first-ever carbon-neutral products. Whether users are upgrading from earlier models or buying their first, there’s never been a more compelling time to experience Apple Watch.”
Lisa Jackson, Apple’s Vice President of Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives, stated, “At Apple, we are committed to making products customers love and protecting the planet at the same time, and this year, we hit a key milestone toward our Apple 2030 goal. Our first carbon-neutral products were made in a uniquely Apple way, steeply reducing carbon emissions from materials, electricity, and transportation through innovation and design.”
A Brand New S9 Chip
Powering the Apple Watch Series 9 is the custom Apple silicon in the all-new S9 SiP. This chip represents Apple’s most potent watch chip yet, delivering systemwide improvements and introducing brand-new features, including the innovative double tap gesture and on-device Siri with the capability to securely access and log health data.
The Series 9 also incorporates a new 4-core Neural Engine, enabling it to process machine learning tasks up to twice as fast as its predecessor, the Apple Watch Series 8. Impressively, the S9 SiP’s power efficiency allows the Series 9 to maintain an all-day 18-hour battery life.
Double Tap Gesture is Here as Well
One standout feature is the new double tap gesture, which enhances the watch’s usability. Users can now control their Apple Watch Series 9 with one hand and without touching the display by simply tapping their index finger and thumb together twice. This gesture can perform various common actions, such as stopping a timer, playing or pausing music, snoozing an alarm, answering and ending phone calls, and even taking a photo with the Camera Remote on Apple Watch. Double tapping also opens the Smart Stack from the watch face and scrolls through widgets within the stack.
The double tap gesture is made possible by the faster Neural Engine in the Series 9, which processes data from the accelerometer, gyroscope, and optical heart sensor using a new machine learning algorithm. This algorithm can detect the unique signature of subtle wrist movements and changes in blood flow when the index finger and thumb perform a double tap. This exciting feature will become available in a software update next month.
A Much Brighter Display Than Watch Series 8
Another notable enhancement is the Series 9’s brighter display. Thanks to the power-efficient S9 SiP and advanced display architecture, the maximum brightness of the Series 9 display has been increased to 2000 nits, double that of the Series 8.
This makes it much easier to read text in bright sunlight. Additionally, for dimly lit environments or early mornings, the display can lower its brightness to just one nit to avoid disturbing those nearby.
On-Device Siri For Multiple Tasks
For the first time on an Apple Watch, Siri requests can be processed directly on the device. This means that for tasks that don’t require internet access, such as starting a workout or setting a timer, Siri operates independently of Wi-Fi or cellular networks, resulting in faster and more reliable responses.
The powerful Neural Engine also improves dictation accuracy by up to 25% compared to the Series 8. On-device processing ensures privacy and security and allows Siri to access data from the Health app for health- and fitness-related queries.
Apple Watch Series 9 Supports Precision Finding
The Series 9 also introduces Precision Finding, which enables users to use their Apple Watch to locate their iPhone with exceptional accuracy. This feature is made possible by the second-generation Ultra Wideband (UWB) chip in the S9 SiP, which is also present in the iPhone 15 family. Precision Finding provides not only distance and direction but also visual, haptic, and audio guidance to help locate a misplaced iPhone, even if it’s in a different room.
Release Date for Apple Watch Series 9
The eagerly awaited Apple Watch Series 9 is now available for pre-order, beginning on September 12, with the official release set for September 22.
In conjunction with the launch of the Apple Watch Series 9, Apple is also introducing the Apple Watch Ultra 2. The Apple Watch SE (2022) remains in the lineup and is still available for purchase.
Apple Watch Series 9 Pricing
The Apple Watch Series 9 maintains the same pricing structure as its predecessor, the Apple Watch Series 8. The base model, the 41-millimeter GPS-only version, starts at $399, while the GPS + Cellular model is priced at $499. For those opting for the larger 45-millimeter size, prices start at $429 for the GPS-only variant and go up to $529 for the cellular-enabled version.