The screen is 20 percent larger on the Apple Watch Series 7 Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

A number of big fitness updates will be added to watchOS 9. There were a lot of new running metrics and a new mode for triathlons. The presentation made me think that Apple is coming for Garmin.

One of the two categories are watches. You have a full range of watches. The ones with the least battery life are the most advanced. If you get injured, they can call emergency services, have built-in voice assistants, control your smart home, and enable advanced health features. This category includes watches like the Apple watch.

There are multisportGPS watches within the second category, which is essentially fitness trackers. These watches have a lot of battery life, but don't use much power. They rely on your phone to take calls, but often make up for it with stellarGPS and more data than the average person can comprehend. The watches are yours.

Power is a new running metric coming in watchOS 9.
Image: Apple

Dedicated athletes have to decide between a more specific tool for tracking exercise and workouts or a more general device for everyday use. The prospect of a watch that can do it all seems to be what Apple is trying to get people to buy.

A number of metrics are introduced in WatchOS 9 that you would normally find on a watch from a manufacturer. There are metrics like power output and stride length. Charts for elevation, custom interval runs, pace alert for a set distance, and the ability to compete with yourself on routes you commonly run are some of the new workout views. The omission of heart rate zones has been a huge omission for dedicated athletes. What are you going to do with all this data?

The vice president of footwear product management and merchandising atBrooks Running thinks the next step is taking all the data from watchOS 9 and putting it into a plan. Form metrics can leave some runners confused about what to do with them. This data can be used to make sure that everyone has a coach on their side encouraging them to take the next step.

The real-time Stamina graph in the Garmin app on an iPhone, along with a close up of the widget on the Fenix 7S
This partially charged Garmin Fenix 7S still has 28 hours of GPS running left in the tank.
Photo by Victoria Song / The Verge

It is rumored that Apple will release a rugged version of the Apple Watch later this year. It looks like the two companies should be feeling the heat. They have the advantage when it comes to battery life.

The experience of running is dependent on the battery life of the watches used. If the battery runs out, it can be a big barrier. The value is reduced if there is a remote risk.

“For runners using watches, battery life is indispensable to the experience.”

In what feels like a lifetime, Apple has not deviated from its 18 hour battery life claim. Apple Watch loyalists will tell you their charging regimen to get around the daily charging requirement. A minimum of 14 days on a single charge and between 30 and 40 hours of gps activity is what the fans of the two companies love. The Apple Watch has about 6 hours of gps activity. endurance athletes need to do a little math or remember to charge up their watch before a run, but that is more than enough for the average person. You don't have to think about it with a gps device. It's possible to just go.

If you prioritize sleep tracking, the longer battery is more convenient. If you don't have to take it off so often, you'll have a better chance of sticking with it.

People who use watches tend to understand metrics. Casual runners don't have that easily available. They can ask more questions about their run with watchOS 9.

The Polar Pacer Pro is a running watch that also measures power from the wrist.
Photo by Victoria Song / The Verge

It may not be easy for Apple to convince people to switch over to its system. It isn't the first to add these metrics to a flagship watch. It has had in-depth running metrics for a while, but its mediocre execution hasn't won over the crowd.

Apple might be able to help introduce running metrics into the mainstream. It could allow research on a larger scale. 400,000 people took part in the Apple Heart Study using the Apple watch.

The chance to look at form measurement and match it to performance is exciting. The correlations between running form and performance will be improved with these metrics available from a wider community of runners.

It is hard to imagine most of the users leaving the platform. The battery life is a big reason why some people choose to use a device. If Apple were to figure out how long a battery lasts. It would be a completely different story.