With watchOS 9, runners will have new data on how they run. However, current betas show that this information may not be offered to all Apple Watches compatible with the next system.
During an outdoor running activity, four additional pieces of data can be collected and displayed in Fitness, along with your run summary: vertical oscillation, power, stride length, and ground contact time.
During their presentation, Apple made no mention of an exclusivity for certain Apple Watches. The description page of watchOS 9 does warn about one or two functions that it will take S6 and S7, but nothing about sports in general and this new data in particular.
In view of our tests with S5 and other testimonials, it is accepted that at least a Series 6 is needed for these new metrics. It’s still not very clear when it comes to SEs.
From the S6 (and SE included) the Apple Watches have replaced their barometric altimeter with an “altimeter-on altimeter”, this is the only visible difference in the data sheets. But in describing the collection of this data, Apple explained that it relied on machine learning algorithms, on the gyroscope and the accelerometer. All things common to Apple Watch compatible watchOS 9 (since S4).
It is too early to be sure. The beta cycle is not complete and, even beyond the arrival of the first final version, it is not impossible that these possibilities are activated on the models which are currently deprived of them. This is all the ambiguity maintained by the watchOS 9 presentation page.
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