Besides detecting iOS 15 in Worldwide Developers ConferenceApple also introduced watchOS 8, the most awaited update for the Apple Watch. watchOS 8 may not have a lot of groundbreaking new features, but the update has undoubtedly brought some important improvements that we summarize in this article.
New Mindfulness App
Five years ago, Apple unveiled the new Breathe app in watchOS 3 in an effort to help users relax, unwind and take a few deep breaths.
The Breathe app has generally remained unchanged in the ensuing years despite its growing popularity, so Apple in watchOS 8 will expand it into a new “Mindfulness” app.
The Mindfulness app will include the same features as Breathe, but will add a new “Reflect” mode to help motivate users to pay attention and meditate in a whole new way.
When you use the Reflect feature, your Apple Watch will prompt you to think about certain things, like “something you love to do and why it makes you happy,” and then display a cute animation to help you focus and take your mind off anything. This leads to moments of regular mental alertness and increased feelings of positivity.
Improve sleep tracking
One of the new features that made last year's watchOS 7 update even more important was the addition of a sleep tracking feature. The emergence of the new Sleep app allowed the user to track information such as heart rate and hours of sleep, and in watchOS 8, Apple is expanding this with a new meter to track your breathing rate while you sleep, in the form of breaths per minute.
Since a person's breathing rate should usually be fairly consistent while they sleep, changes in this may indicate a problem, and this will be tracked in the Health app. An active notification will also be displayed whenever a major change is identified.
New fitness features
In watchOS 8, Apple will add support for a new tai chi exercise, "a sport that evolved from martial arts in China," and new Pilates, "a fitness system developed in the early XNUMXth century in Germany." It seems that the new features of Apple Fitness+ are getting more attention, as new series of exercises will be added from the famous fitness expert, Janet Jenkins.
Find items and devices
Unlike the Find My app on the iPhone, iPad, and Mac, the Apple Watch only includes the Find People app for locating your friends and family who share their locations with you. With AirTag and Find My integration, it looks like watchOS 8 will add the missing pieces for the full Find My experience.
Instead of including a single Find My app, we'll get a separate Find Items app for locating AirTags and other network-compatible items, and a Find My app for tracking lost devices.
New improvements for the watch face and the photo app
The Photos app on the Apple Watch has always been fairly basic, but it looks like it's finally time for watchOS 8 to expand like its full-featured counterpart on the iPhone. In watchOS 8, the Photos app will now include premium memory and photos features, along with a new mosaic layout for browsing your favorite photos. And you'll be able to use Portrait Photos for selfies on a new watch face.
You'll also be able to share photos via Messages and Mail directly from the watchOS Photos app, but that's not all, the entire Messages app seems to have been brought in great new features and improvements. For example, you can now finally add emojis to written or dictated messages.
You can also edit text at the line level, tap to select words to remove, and use the Digital Crown to move the cursor, so you can insert additional text.
There's also an app shelf in the Messages app on the Apple Watch, which includes the Photos app to let you send GIFs right from your wrist. It will also support sticker apps, although it's not clear if current iOS versions will work as they are or if developers will need to update them specifically for watchOS.
Many other changes
◉ watchOS 8 will also improve many other built-in apps, such as music and weather, while more apps will be able to take advantage of the Always-on Display on Apple Watch models 5 and 6.
◉ The redesigned Music app will make it possible to share audios, albums, and playlists directly from the Apple Watch, while the Weather app will get support for severe weather notifications and next-hour rain alerts, along with constant status quo challenges.
◉ There is also a Contacts app coming in watchOS 8, allowing users to browse, add, edit and share contacts using a streamlined user interface.
◉ The Always-On display will also work with maps, instant play, phone, podcasts, stopwatch, timers, voice memos, and the new Mindfulness app, among other things.
◉ There is also a new Always-On API, so developers can take advantage of the screen to display relevant information as well.
◉ Finally, it also looks like Apple Watch users will finally be able to set and run multiple timers on their wrist, saving them the trouble of having to talk to their HomePod or reach for their iPhone when you want to time more than one thing at once.