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The September Apple event this year opened with a video that focused on the health and safety features of both the iPhone and Apple Watch. Buy the Apple Watch Series 9 and you'll still get access to popular health-tracking and crash-detection features, but you'll get new, expanded Siri processing, a brighter display, and the option of a fun pink case and band.
The Series 9 also introduces a new, one-handed gesture input, Double Tap, which allows you to answer calls, pull up apps, and more by simply tapping your thumb and forefinger together. This is great news for anyone who has issues with fine motor skills and might not be able to effectively use touch-based inputs or easily operate the digital crown.
So, is it worth upgrading from your Apple Watch Series 8? Let's take a look at the main differences between last year's Apple Watch and this year's.
1. You will benefit from the one-handed Double Tap gesture input
The Apple Watch has a tiny display and buttons, which can be a pain to navigate and operate -- especially if you have issues with fine motor skills.
With the single-hand gesture, you'll be able to perform tasks that are assigned to the digital crown and action button, such as launching apps, answering calls, or snoozing your alarm.
2. You need a brighter display
The updated Retina display used in the Apple Watch Series 9 is capable of a peak brightness of 2,000 nits, which means you'll be able to read texts, use FaceTime, and work with apps more easily in harsh overhead lighting or direct sunlight.
The display can also be set to just one nit for an ultra-dim display when you need it, such as when you're getting ready for bed and don't want notifications waking you up, or when you're in a movie theater.
3. You're looking for a more eco-friendly smartwatch
The Apple Watch Series 9 is made with a case produced from 100% post-consumer aluminum, and the new woven watch bands are made with up to 68% post-consumer material. This means that Apple is helping to reduce the amount of metal and e-waste entering landfill, as well as reducing the company's carbon footprint.
But if you don't use smart speakers, or just prefer that your home be as disconnected from the internet as possible outside of your phone, TV, and computer, the ability to use your watch to control your smart devices will feel like a wasted feature.
3. You don't need one-handed gesture inputs
The biggest change to the Series 9 is the ability to use the Double Tap feature to launch apps and control your new Apple Watch. And while this is great from an accessibility standpoint, it may feel like a gimmick for anyone who won't see any real benefit. The expanded gesture input support may become a must-have feature in future Apple Watches, but for now, it's up to personal preference.