What’s Coming in watchOS 8 for your Apple Watch?

The new Apple Watch operating system was announced at this summer’s Worldwide Developers’ Conference 2021, and it’s getting some new features.

Like Apple’s other incoming operating systems, watchOS 8, for the Apple Watch, boasts a range of new features. For those who are into mindfulness, the Breathe app has a new animation, and a new Reflect feature gives you nuggets of wisdom such as ‘Think about something you love to do and why it brings you joy.’ The Reflect and Breathe features are found in a new Mindfulness app. This should go down well with everyone after the year or so we have all had and still having!

The Sleep app now tracks your respiratory rate, recording it as breaths per minute. If there’s a change in your rate, you get an alert. Workouts are a major feature of Apple Watch, and with watchOS 8, we get two more. There’s Tai Chi, for fans of this ancient Chinese martial art, and Pilates, a yoga-like exercise that helps develop strength and subtlety. There’s a new set of workouts for Apple Fitness+ subscribers too, and also Artist Spotlight, which groups exercises around a playlist from popular artists such as Lady Gaga, Keith Urban, Alicia Keys and more. 

According to Apple, the watch’s Photos face is the most popular, and there’s a new way to enjoy it in watchOS 8. The Portraits watch face takes the best photos taken using your iPhone Camera app’s Portrait Mode and creates multilayered watch faces from them. It animates when you scroll the digital crown too. The Photos app itself has been redesigned, and now includes memories, just like the iPhone, iPad and Mac Photos app. There’s an all-new collage layout for your pictures, and you can share photographs directly from the watch through Messages and Mail too.

Release Date

watchOS 8 will be released in the autumn. No specific date has yet been set.

System Requirements

To upgrade to watchOS 8, you need an iPhone 6s or higher running iOS 14 or higher, and an Apple Watch 3 or newer. This is the same system requirements as watchOS 7, so if you’re running last year’s update, upgrading won’t be a problem.

Ian Osborne

Ian has worked on computer and video games magazines since the legendary Crash and Zzap! 64 in the early Nineties, so he’s seen many changes over the years (including an expanding waistline and receding hairline). A lifelong Mac user, he bought his first Mac in the year 2000. It’s a testament to the resilience of the Mac that his mother is still using that computer to this very day.

Related Articles

Back to top button