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Siri’s new health features coming exclusively to the latest Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2

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A new WatchOS 10.2 update rolled out on Monday, bringing bug fixes and innovative health-related features for Siri on Apple Watches. Siri will now be able to answer prompts for different health data types. The innovative features are exclusively available on Apple’s latest smartwatches, the Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2. Apple first announced the new software update in September and has released its beta version previously, only now rolling it out officially to its wearables. As for why the latest smartwatches are the only ones to receive the new health features exclusively, the reason is simple. Those are the only wearables to use Apple’s new S9 chip.

The chip allows some data to be processed directly by the smartwatch itself, eliminating the need to transfer information to the cloud to have it read. On-device processing is essential for the company’s health products and their privacy, as well as data minimization, transparency, and control/security, as Katie Skinner, senior manager for user privacy engineering at Apple, points out before CNET.

Initially, Siri should be able to answer requests for about 20 health data types on the Watch Series 9 or Ultra 2. Those include data about last night’s sleep (including nightly respiratory rates,) step count, and more.

Siri’s ability to process health-related requests could be a significant step toward the improvement of Apple’s Health app and its navigation. In an interview for CNET, Deidre Caldbeck, Apple’s senior director of product marketing for Apple Watch and Health divisions, said that supporting health requests has been a highly-desired feature. He further adds:

Apple’s voice assistant should also be able to answer questions about data gathered by third-party health apps, giving users insights into blood pressure and glucose levels without even having to tap their watch face. These third-party apps should be connected to the wearable’s health app. As for logging their data, users should now be able to ask Siri to register their weight, women’s health, and medications. The feature eliminates the need to enter these data manually.

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