As the public beta of watchOS 9 approaches, I’m gearing myself to test out all of the new Apple Watch features. Though we don’t know when the watchOS 9 public beta will be available, all indicators point to it being available shortly.
While there are numerous reasons why I’m looking forward to watchOS 9 making the best smartwatch even better, one change stands out above the rest. However, in comparison to the significant changes in the Apple Watch Workout app, enhanced sleep tracking tools, and a slew of new watch faces, this one is quite tiny — it’s an aesthetic adjustment in how users will receive notifications on their wrist.
I have a love-hate relationship with the current Apple Watch notification animations. On the one hand, they’re loud enough that I don’t have to wonder which app is alerting me at any given time. On the other side, the notifications take up the entire screen, which is irritating while I’m looking at something else on my Apple Watch.
I’ve learnt to make the most of the notifications function now that I know how to use Focus mode in iOS 15 and have carefully selected which apps can send push alerts to my Apple Watch. However, watchOS 9 will solve many Apple Watch notification issues by introducing slimline notification banners instead of full-screen alerts.
This implies that if you’re currently looking at your wrist and receive a notice, a little banner will display at the top of your Apple Watch screen. This notification type, like the ones on the iPhone and iPad, will not interfere with what you’re doing on your Apple Watch right now, whether it’s monitoring your workout data, getting an upcoming weather forecast, or calculating the tip for a bill.
watchOS 9 New Apple Watch notification upgrade — why it matters
I’m a great fan of the Apple Watch’s transition to autonomy. With the larger Apple Watch 7 sizes, I can do and see more on my wrist. Assuming the Apple Watch 8 design is identical to the Apple Watch 7, watchOS 9’s new slimline notification banners should improve the next-generation device’s user experience.
Furthermore, the Apple Watch Series 3, the latest Apple Watch model to maintain the original 38mm and 42mm sizes, is not included in the list of watchOS 9 compatible devices. Several new and appealing Apple Watch updates obviously take advantage of the larger screens.
WatchOS 9 clearly shows that the Apple Watch is adopting the iPhone’s basic functionality, allowing you to perform the same things on an Apple Watch as you do on a 6.1-inch device. The ability to continue using an app when you receive an alert is a little improvement with far-reaching repercussions.
When the public beta of watchOS 9 is released, expect reports on how and whether the slimline notification banners impact the way I use my Apple Watch.