Apple unveiled the latest WatchOS 9 at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on June 6. It is the next big update to the operating system for the Apple Watch. WatchOS 9 is currently available as a developer beta and the public release is expected to be this fall.
It will bring major improvements to sleep tracking, heart health, and running workouts. Apple is also bringing some new watch faces and interesting UI improvements. Apple, for the first time after two whole years, is dropping support for an older Apple Watch model, in a new watchOS release.
These Apple Watches will get watchOS 9 in 2022
Here’s the list of WatchOS 9 supported devices:
- Apple Watch Series 4 (2018)
- Apple Watch Series 5 (2019)
- Apple Watch Series 6 (2020)
- Apple Watch SE (2020)
- Apple Watch Series 7 (2021)
- Apple Watch Series 8 (Unreleased)
The Apple Watch Series 3, which was launched alongside the iPhone 7 in 2017, isn’t making the cut for WatchOS 9 this year. So, if you plan to use the WatchOS 9, you’ll at least need an Apple Watch Series 4 on your wrist.
Even as new Apple Watch models were released each year, Apple kept the Series 3 on the market as a cost-effective option. Ensuring that it would continue to run the latest watchOS version even if it didn’t support features like; Series 4 ECG, Series 5 always-on display, or Series 6 blood oxygen sensors.
Even the WatchOS 7 was facing difficulties due to the underpowered hardware on the Apple Watch Series 3. It was about time that Apple pulled the plug on its older watches instead of stuffing another watchOS into an aging wearable.
It is safe to say that after the release of WatchOS 9 with the latest Apple Watch this fall, Series 3 would finally be put to sleep. The developers can now install the first beta of WatchOS 9 for testing purposes.
You will need to get the configuration profile from the Apple Developer Center in order to install watchOS 9. Once installed, navigate to General > Software update in the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone to download watchOS 8. To upgrade to new software, the Apple Watch must have at least 50% battery life, be charged, and be within range of an iPhone.