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watchOS 8 brings innovations to the Apple Watch

Apple released watchOS 8. The new version of the watch operating system runs on all models from Apple Watch Series 3. The prerequisite for installation is an iPhone on which iOS 15 has already been installed, which Apple also released for download on Monday evening.

The update significantly expands the functionality of the always-on display (from Series 5): Apple has not only adapted other apps of its own – including maps and the stopwatch – but also allows apps from third-party developers to access them. In the future, you can also continue to display information without having to manually activate the screen by moving your arm or tapping the screen.

WatchOS continues to focus on health, fitness and communication: watchOS 8 can also record the user’s breathing rate during sleep tracking. In addition, the watch informs about any noticeable changes in the health data collected – in conjunction with the new trends function in the iOS 15 health app. The operating system supports Tai Chi and Pilates as new workout types, and cycling should also be automatically recognized as a workout will. For e-bike activities, Apple is promising a better calculation of calorie consumption.

Photos can be shared on the watch for the first time, and Apple has also improved text input using the scribble function and made it more flexible. A complete keyboard seems to be reserved for the Apple Watch Series 7 announced for autumn.

The breathing app will be called mindfulness in the future and should help meditate in watchOS 8.

In the future, fall detection should also be particularly effective during workouts. In the event of a serious fall, it can then automatically trigger an emergency call and inform emergency contacts – including the transmission of the location. The function requires at least an Apple Watch Series 4. The breathing app is being replaced in watchOS 8 by a mindfulness app, which, in addition to breathing exercises, also guides you through “reflections”.

More from Mac & i

More from Mac & i

More from Mac & i

More from Mac & i

In the first US states, users can save their driver’s license in a wallet, and the watch can also serve as a key for houses, hotels and cars. In addition to the near-radio technology NFC, ultra-broadband (from Series 6) will also be supported for digital car keys in accordance with the Digital Key Specification 3.0.

New apps allow you to manage contacts and find objects and devices via Apple’s “Where is?” Network. With the AssistiveTouch operating aid, the watch can also be controlled using gestures without having to touch the display. When it comes to dials, there are only two new additions to be made, with a world clock based on Patek Philippe and portraits.

  • You can read practical tips on watchOS 8 in Mac & i issue 5/2021, which will be available from October 7th.


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