Apple has released watchOS 8.1 for all Apple Watch Series 3 and later models. The software update includes enhanced fall detection during workouts, COVID-19 vaccination card support in Wallet app, and SharePlay for Fitness+.
What’s new in watchOS 8.1?
Compared to iOS 15.1, the new watchOS 8.1 update features just a few improvements which include enhanced fall detection during workouts, COVID-19 vaccination card support in Wallet, SharePlay for Fitness+, and a fix for Always On display.
watchOS 8.1 has the following improvements and fixes for Apple Watch Series 3 and later models:
- Enhanced algorithms to detect falls during workouts and option to enable fall detection during workouts only (Apple Watch Series 4 and later)
- COVID-19 vaccination card support allows you to present verifiable vaccination information from Apple Wallet
- Fitness+ supports SharePlay to allow subscribers to invite up to 32 people to workout together through a FaceTime call using iPhone, iPad or Apple TV
- Always On may not display the time accurately for some users when their wrist is down (Apple Watch Series 5 and later)
watchOS 8 was released with a number of new features including built-in apps and workouts:
- Sleeping respiratory rate
- Portrait Watch Face and Photos app
- Messages and Contacts apps
- Find Items app
- Redesigned Music app
- Updated Weather app
- Always-on support for more apps
Check out our detailed coverage of watchOS 8 features for more information.
Is your Apple Watch compatible with watchOS 8.1?
watchOS 8.1 is compatible with the following Apple Watch models:
- Apple Watch Series 7
- Apple Watch Series 6
- Apple Watch SE
- Apple Watch Series 5
- Apple Watch Series 4
- Apple Watch Series 3
How to upgrade Apple Watch to watchOS 8.1?
Make sure your Apple Watch is placed on its wireless charger and has more than 50% battery. Open the Watch app on your paired iPhone and navigate to Settings > General > Software Update. When watchOS 8.1 shows up, start the download process. Throughout the download and installation process, keep your devices connected to a stable Wi-Fi connection, and do not turn off either of the devices.