Apple today revealed the release date of watchOS 4, the next iteration of its Apple Watch mobile operating system, during its annual fall hardware event. The software, first announced back in June during WWDC, will come out on September 19th, coinciding with the third-generation LTE-equipped Apple Watch Series 3. The software, while not as big of a change as the jump to watchOS 3 last year, will come with new Siri features, a set of new watch faces, and some improved fitness tracking capabilities.
The company also took time to detail some new features that werenâ€™t talked about back during WWDC, including a slew of new heart rate monitoring features. The companyâ€™s smartwatch, which Apple COO Jeff Williams says is the most used heart rate monitor in the world, will now show your heart rate on the Apple Watchâ€™s face, so you can view it at a glance when you raise your wrist.
When you launch the heart rate app, the device will also show your resting heart rate and your recovery heart rate, two metrics that can be indications of improving or degrading health. You can also now set the Apple Watch to deliver heart rate notifications in the event you want to be informed of when youâ€™re hitting a certain level of workout or feeling a spike in stress.
Williams also announced today that Apple is launching a new initiative called the Apple Heart Study as part of its ongoing medical research partnerships. The company plans on using heart rate data to better inform patients, doctors, and researchers of cases of heart irregularity, building on existing research done with the Apple Watch that proved the device is capable of detecting heart irregularity with up to 97 percent accuracy. The device is not yet capable of being used for official diagnoses, but it is a useful tool for screening.