As we all know, the WatchOS 8 for the Apple Watch has been announced during the keynote presentation at WWDC 2021, Apple’s annual developer conference. What’s new in WatchOS 8? Apple sped through the new features during the keynote, so here’s what it has shown us so far, but more could be revealed about the new software between now and release later this year.
Regarding the Health and fitness
First up is the Breathe app. Apple says its mindfulness app has grown in popularity recently, which is no real surprise given the year we’ve all had, and for WatchOS 8 it has been enhanced with a new animation to help you center and breathe more calmly. Reflect is a new feature, with a soothing animation to help you focus on the things you enjoy and destress. In Sleep tracking, WatchOS 8 now tracks respiratory rate to look for any trend change and identify potential problems. Data is shown in the Health app.
In WatchOS 8’s Workouts app, you’ll find a new Tai Chi workout mode has been added in, along with a new pilates workout too. In the Fitness+ app, there are seven new high-intensity workout plans from fitness trainer Jeanette Jenkins. There is also a new Artist Spotlight series in Fitness+ with motivational musical playlists from some big names including Lady Gaga.
As for the Portraits and photos
Outside of fitness and health, WatchOS 8 has a new Portraits watch face. Using Portrait shots taken with your iPhone, the watch face adds further depth to the shots so they look great on the Apple Watch’s screen, and you can further customize the look by choosing the look and where to place the time. Twist the Digital Crown and you can even zoom in and out of the photo.
About the other new traits
Expect to see the new contacts app, a redesign of the music app, the chance to set multiple timers at one time, weather alerts, and an enhancement to the Noise app that measures audio volume exposure for headphones in real time.
The new Focus feature introduced with iOS 15, where you can choose different settings to tailor notifications, will also be added to the Apple Watch.
Another iOS 15 feature coming to the watch is the updated Wallet with storage for your home key, car key, and photographic identification.