watchOS 9 — this is the new Apple Watch feature I'm most excited for – Tom's Guide

As we near the launch of the watchOS 9 public beta, I’m preparing to try out all the new features for Apple Watch. Though we don’t know the exact date the watchOS 9 public beta goes live, most signs point to it rolling out soon.

While there are many reasons I’m looking forward to watchOS 9 making the best smartwatch even better, there’s one upgrade I’m more excited about than the rest. Yet compared to the sweeping changes in the Apple Watch Workout app, expanded sleep tracking tools and collection of new watch faces, this one is rather minor — it’s the visual change in how users will receive notifications on their wrist.

I have a love-hate relationship with the current Apple Watch notification animations. On one hand, they’re pronounced enough that I don’t question which app is alerting me at any given time. On the other hand, the notifications take up the whole screen, which is distracting when I’m looking at something else on my Apple Watch.

watchOS 9 slimline notifications

Notifications in watchOS 9 will appear in slimline banners when you’re actively using your Apple Watch. (Image credit: Apple)

Since I know how to use Focus mode in iOS 15, and have carefully curated which apps can send push notifications to my Apple Watch, I’ve learned to make the most of the notifications feature. But watchOS 9 will alleviate many Apple Watch notifications woes by offering slimline notification banners instead of full-screen alerts.


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