September 20, 2021
watchOS 8 is available today
New cycling and wellness features, new watch faces, increased access with Wallet and a redesigned Home app arrive for Apple Watch users
Apple today launched watchOS 8, bringing powerful features to help Apple Watch users stay connected, be more active, and better understand their overall health and well-being. New types of training, cycling updates and the new Mindfulness app expand support for physical and mental well-being, while enhanced capabilities of the Wallet and Home apps allow users to use Apple Watch from more seamlessly on the go and at home. The redesigned Photos app, new watch faces and Messages tools give customers more ways to connect with loved ones.
watchOS 8 introduces two popular new types of training that are beneficial for both fitness and conscious movement: Tai Chi and Pilates. These new types of training are supported by powerful heart rate and movement algorithms, validated and customized to provide users with accurate calorie measurements.
The update also adds new features for anyone who rides a bike. Apple Watch uses advanced algorithms to analyze GPS, heart rate, accelerometer, and gyroscope data to detect when users start a run and prompts them to start an Outdoor Cycle workout if they don’t have one. been launched.1 Bike workouts now have automatic pause and resume so that measurements more accurately reflect time spent in motion versus stopping, such as waiting at a traffic light.
Apple Watch more accurately measures active calories while riding an electric bike, with an updated cycle training algorithm that evaluates GPS and heart rate data to better determine when users are riding with pedal assist compared to the power of the legs alone. New voice feedback through Apple Watch’s built-in speaker, or through AirPods or other Bluetooth headphones, will automatically announce workout milestones and activity ring status, helping users stay concentrated during activities like running or HIIT.
Fall detection update
With watchOS 8, fall detection algorithms are updated and optimized to detect falls during workouts, including cycling, and have been tuned to recognize the unique movement and impact of bicycle falls and others. types of training.2
A new approach to mindfulness
The Breathe App is now the Mindfulness App, offering an improved Breathe experience; a new type of session, Reflect; and guided meditations for Fitness + subscribers. Reflect offers a conscious intention to focus on for as little as a minute, which can be done anywhere and anytime, and each session greets the user with a unique and thoughtful notion to consider that invites a positive state of mind.
Starting Monday, September 27, new guided meditations will be uploaded weekly as audio in the new Mindfulness app on Apple Watch for Fitness + subscribers, in addition to being available as an immersive video experience on iPhone, iPad and Apple. TV. These can be played directly from Apple Watch when paired with AirPods or other Bluetooth headphones, so users can experience guided meditation at their convenience. Users who want to practice meditation while moving will also be able to track their activity with the Workout app.
Sleep respiratory rate
Apple Watch helps users achieve their sleep goals by establishing a routine before bedtime and tracking metrics like sleep time, heart rate, and blood oxygen. watchOS 8 provides users with even more information about their general well-being by tracking respiratory rate while sleeping, the number of breaths per minute. This information can be viewed, along with trends over time, in the Health app on iPhone.
More access with Wallet
With watchOS 8, Wallet gives users even more contactless ways to access the places and things that matter to them transparently, securely and securely. Ultra Wideband holder arrives for digital car keys,3 and Apple Watch users can safely unlock their car remotely and start it from the driver’s seat. Additionally, users can add house and hotel keys as well as company badges to Wallet and tap their Apple Watch to unlock.4
Starting with Arizona and Georgia, followed by Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma and Utah, users will be able to add their driver’s license or ID card to Wallet and the present at certain TSA checkpoints and lanes.5
Redesigned home app
The redesigned Home app offers more convenient control of props and scenes, as well as the ability to control props by room. Users with a HomeKit-enabled camera can see who’s at the door right on their wrist. Apple Watch users can also tap Intercom to quickly broadcast a message throughout the house or to individual rooms via HomePod mini.
New Apple Watch faces
The new Portraits watch face brings stunning portrait photos taken on iPhone to life with an immersive multi-layered effect, intelligently recognizing faces in photos and cropping to highlight the subject. The classic world time dial, based on heritage watches and ideal for travelers, tracks the time in 24 time zones around a double dial.6
Communicating on Apple Watch is even easier with the new tools in Messages. Users can combine the use of Scribble, Dictation and Emoji in the same message, and for dictated messages they have the option to edit the presented text. To easily add even more expression to a post, users can simply enter a word or phrase and choose from hundreds of cool GIFs.
Focus is a new way to help reduce distractions by filtering notifications from people and apps based on what a user is currently doing. Apple Watch automatically aligns with any Focus bundle on iOS, iPadOS, or macOS. Users can set automations to activate tune-up at relevant times, such as fitness tune-up when starting a workout.
Additional features of watchOS 8
- The reimagined Application of photos offers new ways to view and browse collections; Memories and featured photos now sync with Apple Watch; and photos can be shared via Messages and Mail.
- Multiple timers can be assigned a specific tag using Siri (such as “Hey Siri, start a 10 minute pasta timer”).
- The Contacts application is now on Apple Watch, giving users an easy way to browse, add, edit, and share contacts right from the app.
- More Apple Watch apps support the Always on display, including maps, mindfulness, now playing, phone, podcasts, stopwatch, timers, and voice memos.
- To help Apple Watch users with upper body limb differences, Support contact Allows one-armed operation of Apple Watch by detecting simple hand gestures to interact without touching the screen. Using the built-in motion sensors, users can answer incoming calls, control an on-screen motion pointer, and display an action menu that can access Action Center, Control Center, and more.7
- A new Find articles app on Apple Watch helps users locate items with an AirTag attached and compatible third-party items using the Find My network, and a new Find devices The app helps users locate lost Apple devices that are logged in with the same Apple ID.
- The reimagined Music app allows users to share songs, albums and playlists via Messages and Mail, and enjoy music and radio in one place.
- Weather app now supports Severe weather notifications, posting government alerts on certain severe weather events. The app also offers Next hour precipitation alerts and proposes updated complications.
- Family setup now includes the ability to add transit cards from Hong Kong, Japan, and some cities in mainland China and the United States, and Calendar and Mail offers the ability to add a Google account.
- watchOS 8 is available as a free software update starting today for Apple Watch Series 3 models and later. For more information, visit apple.com/watchos/watchos-8.
- Apple Fitness + updates will be available starting Monday, September 27.
- Some features may not be available in all regions or languages, or with all makes and models.
- Available on Apple Watch SE, Apple Watch Series 6, and Apple Watch Series 7.
- Fall detection for workouts will be included in an update to watchOS 8 later this year for Apple Watch Series 4 and later. This feature applies to workouts started in the Workout app or in third-party training apps that sync with the Health app.
- Available on Apple Watch Series 6 and later. Digital car keys require a participating automaker and will arrive later this year.
- Support for new keys in Apple Wallet requires a compatible door lock for homes, offices, and hotels that will be available through third parties.
- Participating states and the TSA will share more information at a later date on when support for Mobile Driver’s Licenses and State IDs in Wallet will be available in each state, and on security checkpoints. TSA airports and the selected routes that will be available initially.
- World Time Portraits and Faces are available on Apple Watch Series 4 and later.
- Available on Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE.
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