One of the biggest changes is a new S9 SiP (System in Package). The CPU has 5.6 billion transistors, a GPU that’s 30 percent faster, and a four-core neural engine. That translates to improvements like Siri requests being processed on the device. The watch also has a second-generation ultra wideband chip to help with precision finding with your iPhone. One other improvement is a brighter display: Apple says it can get as bright as 2,000 nits, which is double the maximum you can get from the Series 8.
The Series 9 also offers a “double-tap” feature that lets you tap your index finger and thumb together to do things like answer a phone call. It’s kind of similar to the tapping feature that Apple demoed with the Apple Vision Pro. And Apple already offers something like it through AssistiveTouch on the Apple Watch. The double-tap feature is coming as part of a software update in October.
The Apple Watch Series 9 will be available in aluminum in pink, starlight, silver, midnight, and Product Red, and the stainless steel versions will be available in gold, silver, and graphite. You can preorder the Apple Watch Series 9 beginning Tuesday. It will be available on September 22nd and starts at $399.
Apple is also promoting some improvements on the environmental front for the Apple Watch. The company claims it’s Apple’s first carbon-neutral product when paired with a new Sport Loop band, and the company says its smaller packaging lets it more easily ship more devices at a time.
The Series 9 follows last year’s Apple Watch Series 8, which was a largely iterative update that added temperature sensors and Crash Detection, and the Apple Watch Ultra, which is a more rugged smartwatch that has some bigger changes, like a larger screen and a separate Action Button.
The Series 9 will ship with watchOS 10, the company’s latest smartwatch operating system. watchOS 10 is a big revamp of the OS, with a focus on the widget stack that’s accessible by turning the digital crown and significantly updated versions of many core Apple Watch apps. It also has a Snoopy watchface, which my colleague Victoria Song loves. watchOS 10 comes out on September 18th.