News, features, release date and more
Every year at Apple’s Global Developer Conference, the company launches a new version of Apple Watch’s watchOS, showcasing the awesome new software features you can expect when the software releases in the fall. This year is no different – and we’ve got a pretty good idea of ââwhat watchOS 8, the next software release, will look like.
The new operating system doesn’t necessarily represent a major overhaul of watchOS, but it does bring a number of handy new features that could make your Apple Watch easier to use. It’s currently in public beta, which means that while you can technically install it on your Apple Watch if you want, it’s still buggy and could cause your device to behave in unexpected ways. In other words, you probably have should not install it again.
Interested in finding out more? Here’s everything you need to know about watchOS 8.
The best new features of watchOS 8
Apple WatchOS 8 brings a slew of new features that make the Apple Watch experience better than ever. Here’s a look at the awesome new features that will come with watchOS 8.
As you might expect, the new version of watchOS 8 brings a number of new health and fitness features. This makes the device a better fitness tracker than ever. For starters, there are new types of training, including Pilates and Tai Chi. Not only that, but sleep tracking improves as well. Now, while sleeping, the Apple Watch will calculate the respiratory rate and this measurement will be listed in the Health app.
The Breathe app is renamed for watchOS 8. Now the functionality will be integrated into the new Mindfulness app, which will also offer a Reflect feature that will help users to better establish their meditation habits. The feature also comes with visualizations, and it will connect to your heart rate to show a mind-body connection.
The Wallet app is receiving a number of upgrades on the iPhone and Apple Watch. In watchOS 8, the Wallet app now supports different types of keys, including car keys and house keys – so you can tap to unlock devices connected to HomeKit. A number of lock brands will support this feature.
Some hotels will also offer iPhone and Apple Watch integration, so you can use your device to unlock your room. Some US states will also support driver’s licenses and other identification.
Like all of Apple’s new operating systems, the Apple Watch will support Focus, which allows users to set profiles and get notifications based on what they’re doing. So, for example, you can set a work goal, which will only let in work emails and messages, as well as those from your immediate family. Not only that, but the feature also supports custom focus.
Look at the faces
The Apple Watch will also get some awesome new watch faces. Among these new faces, perhaps the new main watch face is the new Photos watch face, which can extract data from photos in Portrait mode and create a multi-layered face that can move over time. It’s really cool.
The Home app is also updated in watchOS 8. The new version of the app is designed to make it easier to control devices and prioritize activated devices. For example, if someone rings the doorbell, your device will offer to control things like a lock or exterior lights.
WatchOS 8 also suggests scenes to activate at different times of the day, and these scenes and props can be organized by room.
There’s a new Find My app on the Apple Watch, allowing you to find your missing devices without necessarily needing an iPhone. Find My in general is coming to more and more devices, so it’s nice to see it available on the Apple Watch.
Do I have to install watchOS 8?
As mentioned, watchOS 8 is currently in public beta which means it is not yet ready for a full release and is still in the process of being tweaked and developed. Usually, we only recommend advanced users with a spare Apple Watch to install the beta, as it might behave strangely and even render your device unusable, although this is rare.
Of course, during the beta process watchOS 8 will become more and more stable and will eventually be ready for the public. When watchOS 8 is released to the public, we recommend that you install it.
Which Apple Watch models support watchOS 8?
Want to enjoy the benefits of watchOS 8, but not sure if your Apple Watch supports it? Here is the full list of Apple Watch models that will support watchOS 8.
Of course, the Apple Watch Series 7 will ship with watchOS 8 out of the box.
When will watchOS 8 be released?
There are two answers to this question. The first is that watchOS 8 is already available, but it is only available as part of a public beta and, therefore, should not be downloaded by average users.
Apple usually releases its software with new devices. As a result, watchOS 8 will likely release alongside the Apple Watch Series 7 in the fall. Apple typically holds its fall hardware events around mid-September, and that should hold true this year.
How to install watchOS 8
Doesn’t bother you that watchOS 8 is only available as part of a beta and you still want to install it? Again, we only recommend advanced users with an aftermarket device to install a beta version. Others would have to wait for the full public release. But if you do want to install it, here’s how.
- If you haven’t already, install iOS 15 on your iPhone. You will need it to get watchOS 8.
- On your iPhone, go to Apple’s public beta website.
- Log in using the arrow at the top right of the screen if you haven’t already.
- Scroll down and tap “Start.”
- Head over to watchOS in the “Guide to Public Beta” section.
- Scroll down and tap “register your Apple Watch”.
- Then scroll down and tap “Download Profile”.
- Press the “Install” button at the top right of the screen. You will need to press an Install button twice more and may need to enter your PIN.
- You will then be prompted to restart your Apple Watch. After restarting, open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, then head to General> Software update.
- Press the “Download and Install” button. Your Apple Watch will install watchOS 8.