Apple watchOS 9.4 brings Sleep Focus & more emojis
The Apple WatchOS 9.4 update has arrived, and it’s time to spruce up your wrist-wear. This software includes improved alarms, new emojis, and region-specific health features.
Apple has just released watchOS 9.4, the latest update to its watchOS 9 series, and it includes a few useful updates that will make your watch even more appealing. This version arrives some two months after watchOS 9.3 and is most likely the final update for this cycle. Apple is now setting stage for a smooth transition to watchOS 10, which will make its debut at the WWDC event in June.
No more oversleeping
Probably the most useful upgrade that comes with watchOS 9.4 is to do with the alarm function. It seems Apple Watch users were inadvertently cancelling their alarms during slumber.
It’s quite possible that this was merely an oversight. Generally, covering the Watch mutes all notifications, and it seems the implications for wake-up alarms may not have been initially taken into account.
As evidenced by this Reddit post, the issue has effected quite a few folks.
“Certainly explains why I’d randomly miss the alarm in the morning… I’d sure love to know why it was ever like this. I just assumed it was more of Apple’s weirdly sporadic aversion to timely notification delivery, and had started resorting to other methods of ensuring I actually wake up when I need to,” writes one.
“I ended up setting an alarm on my phone as a backup for 10 mins later every night lol,” chimes in another one.
This upgrade ensures that the “Cover to Mute” gesture will no longer silence wake-up alarms that are set in Sleep Focus mode. So, if your hand accidentally covers your Apple Watch’s display for three seconds while you’re sleeping, you can rest assured that your alarm won’t be accidentally silenced.
New emojis and region-based health updates
Prepare to up your emoji game. The donkey, goose, black bird, shaking head, hyacinth, pea pod, and other new characters have been added in WatchOS 9.4. These new characters will allow for more nuanced and creative ways to express yourself in messages.
Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets
The final updates are region-specific. Moldova and Ukraine now support cycle tracking with retrospective ovulation estimates and cycle deviation alerts. In addition, AFib History is now available in Colombia, Malaysia, Moldova, Thailand, and Ukraine. So, if you live in one of these countries, make sure to install the software.
How to download and install
To get watchOS 9.4, open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and go to General > Software Update. But, before you press the “Install” button, make sure your Apple Watch has at least 50% battery life, is charging, and is close to your trusty iPhone.
Word on the street is that patience is key when installing the update. Expect a 30-minute download time, followed by an equal amount of time for the installation to conclude. So grab a snack and sit back while your Apple Watch is updated with the latest features.
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