Apple announced watchOS 8, the future upgrade to the operating system for the Apple Watch, in the WWDC 2021 keynote, and now it is available to upgrade.
There’s a Mindfulness app being introduced. As well as sleep app upgrades to measure Respiratory Rate, Fitness Plus upgrades and more are included.
Let’s see all of the new changes:
Note, Apple Watch 3 and newer devices will be able to download watchOS 8, which is excellent for previous Apple Watch versions. The watchOS 8 support devices list has really not changed much from last year’s watchOS 7. Find the Apple Watch 3 on eBay here.
WatchOS 8 Predictions
The “full-fat” watchOS 8 upgrade was accompanied by the release of the Apple Watch 7.
Apple made the developer beta available to anybody with a developer account right after introducing watchOS 8 at WWDC 2021.
According to Apple, the watchOS 8 upgrade is fully compatible with all devices starting with the Apple Watch 3. This doesn’t change the watchOS 7 compatibility list. Meaning, if you completed the major upgrade last year, you’ll be able to run the new software this year.
If you wish to update to watchOS 8, you need an iPhone that supports the next version of iOS. This means you need an iPhone 6S at least that runs on a minimum of iOS 15. This is most likely for both development and public betas. So ensure you maintain your iPhone with the most recent version of iOS to run the watchOS preview.
WatchOS 8 Features
The watchOS 8 upgrade is expected to deliver a slew of new capabilities to Apple Watches, which will enhance how you use them. While there are no substantial changes, there are new capabilities for the apps you have now.
Wallet: digital IDs are now available on Apple Watch.
More options to engage wirelessly with places and objects are being added to the Wallet app. According to Apple’s press release, some of this is restricted to the Apple Watch 6 and its Ultra-Wideband technology. Namely, the sci-fi-like feature of unlocking and starting your car from the driver’s seat (originally introduced at WWDC 2020 and coming to select automobiles).
Most Apple Watches, on the other hand, should be able to profit by adding extra digital keys to Wallet for their home, business, and hotel and then unlocking them with their wearables.
Individuals in selected US states can add a driver’s license or state ID to the Wallet, and certain TSA checkpoints will accept these digital IDs. You’ll just have to add them to the iOS Wallet app and show them on your Apple Watch. Much like you do with credit and debit cards.
New Mindfulness app and sleep tracking
The Breathe app has been included in the new Mindfulness app. Plus with a new app called Reflect, which guides users via different mindful sessions that involve reflecting on previous experiences.
Sleep monitoring now includes a new respiratory rate parameter, which counts the number of breaths taken each minute. All data added to the Health app is also included in the new Trends, which monitor how your health measures change over time.
Workout app and Apple Fitness Plus
Two new fitness activities have been added to the watchOS Practice app: Tai Chi and Pilates, which are both more relaxing and focused workouts to complement the yoga workout. According to Apple’s press announcement, they feature bespoke heart rate and motion algorithms.
Picture in Picture compatibility and additional filtering options have also been added to the Apple Fitness Plus watchOS app. You can also effortlessly transfer exercises across devices, stopping one and then restarting it on another.
More Jeanette Jenkins routines are being added, and an Artist Spotlight Series with exercises tailored to whole playlists by popular artists.
Memories and Featured Photos sync to the Apple Watch via the iOS app, which has been updated with new ways to explore collections. Turn your Portrait-mode images into watch faces with a new Portraits watch face, and twist the crown to change the depth.
The Apple Watch will set the time or complications behind the Portrait, so numbers will not obscure their features.
Messages also gain more granular features, such as the ability to shift the cursor by twisting the crown. As well as the option to search and react with GIFs. A new Contacts app has been added to watchOS, allowing you to view, edit, and share contacts via your Apple Watch.
Intercom, an enhancement for the Home application that allows you to see who is at the door through live video stream and even welcome them, is one of the new Apple Watch capabilities.
WatchOS 8 Focus
This is a handy new app typically seen on kids’ smartwatches that adults can learn from! Whatever Focus users choose on their iPhone will transfer over to their Apple Watch. Enabling you to prioritize work, exercise, sleep or do not disturb in your notification settings.
If you found this interesting, check out what we think are the 35 biggest Apple Watch Pros and Cons.
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Last Updated on January 31, 2023
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