Top 7 hidden watchOS 9 features you should know about

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Apple’s WatchOS 9 brings a number of new features to Apple Watch users, including an improved Workout app, more data from the Sleep app, and a new Medications app.

But there’s more than meets the eye with the new update for Apple Watch users. Here are some hidden watchOS 9 features you may not have heard of.

1. Low power mode

While Apple has improved the overall hardware and software experience with each generation, battery life has always stayed the same at 18 hours of use before needing to recharge. But the new Low Power Mode in watchOS 9 changes that.

With the feature activated and your iPhone nearby, you can squeeze in up to 36 hours of use. To activate Low Power Mode, swipe up to view Control Center. Select the battery percentage and then turn on Low power mode. There is much more you can access in the Control Center, be sure to take a look at how to use and customize the area.

Just to note, some Apple Watch features like always-on display and background heart rate monitoring will be disabled.

Starting in late 2022, Low Power Mode will come to Apple Watch Ultra and provide up to 60 hours of use. That’s almost double the nominal 36 hours of use in normal mode.

2. A new look for the Compass app

To match the Apple Watch Ultra, Apple has also introduced a redesigned Compass app in watchOS 9. Upon launching the app, you’ll quickly notice the hybrid view that displays an analog compass and digital information. Rotate the digital crown to see more data, such as altitude, longitude, elevation, and incline.

On the same screen is the new Compass Waypoints and Backtrack. With waypoints, you can mark a location or point of interest in the app to access later in the app. For example, you can mark the location of your car in a parking lot. Selecting the waypoint will display its direction and how far away it is.

Backtrack uses GPS data to create a route that shows where you’ve been. It’s perfect to wear on a hike and retrace your steps.

3. An improved Apple Watch Dock

Pressing the side button once opens the Apple Watch dock, where you can easily access apps to use. And watchOS 9, the dock will promote the apps currently in use. That will make it easier to get back to them.

Be sure to check out everything the Digital Crown and Side Button can do on Apple Watch.

4. Apple Watch Mirroring on an iPhone

Making Apple Watch more accessible to users with physical and motor disabilities is a new Mirroring feature. On your iPhone, you can control any Apple Watch using iPhone features, including voice control and button control.

5. A new quick action

Additionally, Apple has also added a new quick action accessible to Apple Watch users in watchOS 9. A simple double-pinch gesture can answer or end a phone call, dismiss a notification, take a photo, play/pause media, and launch, pause or resume a workout.

6. More languages ​​on Apple Watch keyboard

Apple added a built-in keyboard starting with Apple Watch Series 7. Instead of Scribble or Dictation, you can type a message and much more. The predictive QuickType engine will suggest possible words and phrases that you were typing.

In watchOS 9, the keyboard added support for additional languages: French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish.

7. More features for a family setup Apple Watch

Family setup lets kids or other family members use a cellular-enabled Apple Watch without the need for an iPhone.

With watchOS 9, kids can now access the Podcast app. Starting in late 2022, kids can also be invited to the Home app to control HomeKit accessories and HomePod speakers. They will also have access to the keys stored in the Wallet.

Enjoy all the new features of watchOS 9

While they don’t get a lot of attention, these lesser-known improvements in watchOS 9 continue to make the experience even better.

Whether you’re using Low Power Mode, enjoying the revamped Compass app, or something else, your Apple Watch is a great way to enjoy the Apple experience on a wearable device.

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