At its eagerly-awaited annual event yesterday, Apple unveiled the much-awaited Apple Watch Series 9, which has not only brought a slew of new features to the world’s top-selling watch but also marked a significant environmental milestone.
With the introduction of the new S9 SiP (System in Package), the Apple Watch Series 9 has become more powerful and capable than ever before, offering a magical new double tap gesture, a brighter display, faster on-device Siri with the ability to access and log health data, and Precision Finding for iPhone, among other enhancements. All these features are part of the watchOS 10, which brings redesigned apps, new watch faces, cycling and hiking features, and mental health support tools.
A Significant Environmental Milestone
One of the key highlights of the Apple Watch Series 9 is its carbon-neutral option, a significant step towards Apple’s 2030 plan of becoming carbon neutral across its entire business, manufacturing supply chain, and product life cycle. Jeff Williams, Apple’s Chief Operating Officer, emphasized the importance of the Apple Watch as an indispensable companion for millions of people in terms of health, fitness, communications, and safety. He also highlighted the new capabilities and technological advancements of the Apple Watch Series 9, including the first-ever carbon-neutral products from Apple.
Lisa Jackson, Apple’s Vice President of Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives, expressed the company’s commitment to making products that customers love while protecting the planet. She noted that the introduction of the first carbon-neutral products is a key milestone towards the Apple 2030 goal, achieved by steeply reducing carbon emissions from materials, electricity, and transportation through innovation and design.
Powerful New S9 SiP
The Apple Watch Series 9 is powered by the all-new S9 SiP, Apple’s most powerful watch chip yet. It delivers systemwide improvements and brand-new features, including a new double tap gesture and on-device Siri with the ability to access and log health data privately and securely. The new 4-core Neural Engine in the Apple Watch Series 9 can process machine learning tasks up to twice as fast as the Apple Watch Series 8, while maintaining an all-day 18-hour battery life.
Innovative Double Tap Gesture
The Apple Watch has always been known for its innovative features, and the Series 9 is no exception. With the new double tap gesture, users can easily control the Apple Watch Series 9 using just one hand, without touching the display. By tapping the index finger and thumb of their watch hand together twice, users can perform many common actions on the Apple Watch Series 9 quickly and conveniently.
For example, the double tap can control the primary button in an app, stop a timer, play and pause music, or snooze an alarm. It can also be used to answer and end phone calls, take a photo with the Camera Remote, open the Smart Stack from the watch face, and scroll through widgets in the stack.
Brighter Display and On-Device Siri
The Apple Watch Series 9 comes with a power-efficient S9 SiP and advanced display architecture, which increase the maximum brightness of the display up to 2000 nits—double that of the Series 8. This makes it easier to read text in bright sunlight, and the display can also lower to just one nit in dark rooms or early mornings to avoid disturbing others.
Additionally, for the first time on Apple Watch, Siri requests can be processed on the device. This means that for requests that do not require internet information, such as starting a workout or setting a timer, Siri does not rely on Wi-Fi or cellular networks, resulting in quicker and more reliable responses. On-device processing also ensures privacy and security, and now Siri can be used to access data from the Health app for health and fitness-related queries.
Precision Finding and HomePod Integration
The S9 SiP includes a second-generation Ultra Wideband (UWB) chip, enabling Precision Finding for the iPhone 15 family, which has the same chip. This feature provides distance and direction, as well as visual, haptic, and audio guidance to a misplaced iPhone, even if it is in a different room.
Additionally, the UWB chip brings deeper integration between the Apple Watch and 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. If nothing is playing on the HomePod, media suggestions will appear at the top of the Smart Stack.
watchOS 10: A Milestone Update
The Apple Watch Series 9 runs on watchOS 10, a milestone update that includes a fresh approach to quickly view information with redesigned apps and a new Smart Stack to show relevant widgets when needed. It also brings delightful new watch faces, Bluetooth connectivity for power meters, speed sensors, and cadence sensors for cyclists, new Compass Waypoints and Maps capabilities for outdoor adventures, and additional tools to support mental health.
Carbon Neutral Models
As part of the Apple 2030 plan, the carbon footprint of the Apple Watch has been significantly decreased. Select case and band combinations of the 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 remaining emissions are offset with high-quality carbon credits from nature-based projects. Additionally, the packaging of the Apple Watch has been redesigned to be 100% fiber-based, and a new logo on the packaging indicates models that are carbon neutral.
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 USD, and Apple Watch SE starts at $249 USD.
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