Today at the WWDC 2021 event, Apple unveiled watchOS 8. The new update features new workouts, watch faces, health features, updates to Music, Photos, and Fitness+ apps, and much more Here is everything new coming to Apple Watch this fall.
watchOS 8 brings new features to Apple Watch
Here are the new features that Apple announced for watchOS 8:
- The Wallet app now supports Ultra Wideband which will allow it to unlock car keys on Apple Watch Series 6.
- Users will also be able to add office, home and hotel keys to the Wallet app and unlock doors with their Apple Watch
- In select states in the US, users will be able to add their IDs to the Wallet app.
- TSA will start accepting these digital IDs soon at specific checkpoints.
- The new Home app in watchOS 8 features a new design that provides quick access to smart home accessories and scenes.
- Users can also view HomeKit-enabled cameras from their Watch
- Home app also allows users to access Intercom to broadcast messages to HomePod and HomePod mini.
- New workout types include Tai Chi and Pilates
- The new Mindfulness app, previously called Breathe app, brings new situations to focus and reflect on while breathing.
- The app offers gentle animations to spread positive vibes throughout the body.
Sleeping Respiratory Rate
- Apple Watch on watchOS 8 will have a new respiratory rate tracker while sleeping using the built-in accelerometer.
- In the Health app, the feature will send users notifications of any changes that are observed, as well as show trends over time.
- Coming later this month, the Apple Watch-centered Fitness+ service will offer 7 new workout sessions with a new trainer.
- Apple Music will feature a new Artist Spotlight section to feature songs from Lady Gaga, Alicia Keys, and others to make Fitness+ workout more entertaining.
Portrait Watch Face and Photos app
- watchOS 8 will feature a new portrait watch face which will allow using Portrait photos from an iPhone to create interesting multilayered and immersive watch faces. Users will be able to change the focus of the new portrait watch face by turning the crown.
- The redesigned Photos app will organize pictures as memory highlights in a mosaic layout. Furthermore, watchOS 8 will allow users to share photos with share photos directly from the Apple Watch via the Messages app. They will be able to make photo sharing more expressive by scribbling, adding emojis, and more. GIF will also be shared right from the wrist.
Messages and Contacts apps
- For the first time, the Contacts app will be available on watchOS 8 and will allow users to browse, edit and delete contacts.
- Messaging experience in watchOS 8 sees some improvements thanks to a new text input tool that supports Scribble, dictation, and emojis all within one interface.
- A new Find Items app will help users find AirTags and other devices that work with Find My network.
- A redesigned Music app makes it easier to share songs and playlists with contacts via Messages and Mail.
- The Weather app now shows server weather notifications as well as next-hour precipitation alerts. New updated complications are also available for the Weather app.
- Users can now set multiple timers on Apple Watch.
- A lot more apps can now support always-on display. Apple has also opened the always-on API for third-party apps so they can take advantage of the always-on display on Apple Watch Series 5 and 6 models.
watchOS 8 is currently available as a developer beta. A public beta will be released next month, while a final version for all users will be released this Fall.