watchOS 8.1 is now available with SharePlay, enhanced fall detection and COVID-19 vaccination cards in Wallet

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+.

watchOS 8.1

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:

  • Wallet
  • Home
  • Mindfulness
  • Sleeping respiratory rate
  • Fitness+
  • 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:

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.

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