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What’s New in watchOS 8?

Apple announced watchOS 8 today – the next major software version for the Apple Watch operating system. This upcoming version will bring much needed under-the-hood changes, and here’s a rundown on what those main features are:

Digital Life

Apple wants the Apple Watch to be part of your everyday life at home and at work. You can control all of your smart devices and security cameras based on the suggestions watchOS 8 makes for you. Additionally, you can see the current statuses across all of your smart devices and access your scenes in a flash, based on the time of day.

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watchOS 8 also makes your Watch a better digital wallet because you can store your digital Home key right in the Wallet app and even safely share it with those you trust. With the U1 chip in Apple Watch Series 6, you can now unlock your car as you approach it without taking out your keys. Lastly, you can store your license/IDs in your Wallet, and that information is fully encrypted and secure just like with credit cards.

Credit: Apple

Communications

Scribble just got better when you want to send a quick message to your loved ones. You can now use the Digital Crown to move the cursor to an error from Dictation, making correcting errors a lot easier. Additionally, you can now share GIFs in Messages to bring a lot of fun to the table as well as music with the redesigned Music app.

Credit: Apple

Health

The Apple Watch has always helped us to live a healthier life, and the improvements that watchOS 8 brings are no exception. First, the Breathe app has been renamed to Mindfulness, and it brings both Breath and Reflect features. The Breath feature offers exotic visualizations and tips to help you focus on your concentration through breathing, and the Reflect feature helps you meditate with its beautiful animations.

The Sleep feature now provides your sleeping respiratory rate, which is the number of breaths per minute as you sleep in addition to your overall trends.

The Workout app brings a new workout that’s been practised for over 2000 years – Pilates. In addition, Jeanette Jenkins is joining Apple Fitness+ as a special guest, and Fitness+ now brings Artist Spotlight features with dedicated workout playlists.

Credit: Apple

Other Features

  • With the new Find Devices app, you can now locate misplaced Apple devices directly from your Apple Watch, including AirPods.
  • The Apple Watch is now even more accessible to limb-different people with AssistiveTouch. Thanks to the built-in motion sensors, people can perform certain tasks such as answering a call entirely using hand gestures.
  • The Always-On display found in Series 5 & 6 expands its support across many additional apps, including Alarms and Stopwatch.
  • The New Contacts app lets your find, add, or edit contacts right on your wrist.
  • The Watcher app now supports more important information, so you can be informed about severe weather via notifications as well as next-hour precipitation alerts and rain intensity.
  • Just like you can with HomePod, you can set multiple timers at once.

Compatible Devices

watchOS 8 is compatible with all Apple Watch models that were compatible with watchOS 7. It requires an iPhone 6s or later with iOS 14 or later. Here are the following supported models:

  • Apple Watch Series 3
  • Apple Watch Series 4
  • Apple Watch Series 5
  • Apple Watch SE
  • Apple Watch Series 6

What do you think of all these new changes in watchOS 8? Let us know in the comments below, or tweet us at @Appleosophy.

Nick Soong

Author: Nick Soong

Appleosophy Weekly

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