WatchOS 8 comes with improved screen features and a new workout mode and can be downloaded for users of the latest Watch Series 3 to Series 7.
Apple launched the Watch Series 7 at the same time as the latest operating system, namely WatchOS 8. The smartwatch will run WatchOS 8, which can be downloaded starting September 20. The company says that WatchOS can also be used for other Apple Watches, starting with Series 3.
WatchOS 8 will come with several improvements, including an additional workout mode, fall detection while cycling, and more features related to screening durability. With a bigger screen, now the messaging feature is also getting an upgrade and dynamic portrait photos that can be displayed.
Furthermore, the following is a list of new features that are present in WatchOS 8.
1. Portrait photo display
Users can use portrait photos taken from iPhone as Apple Watch wallpapers. But instead of displaying a static image, the smartwatch now uses segmentation data from the photo to separate the foreground from the background. In short, the time display or other information on the screen can appear behind the subject’s head, like the photo below from Cnet(September 15).
The Photos app now has several new tools, such as displaying featured memories or photos, so that new content can be synced with the Watch every day. Plus, users can now share photos directly from their Apple Watch via Messages or the Mail app.
2. Hand gesture control with AssistiveTouch
This is a flexibility feature that Apple announced last May and other accessibility features for iPhone and iPad. This feature allows users to control their Apple Watch with one hand without having to touch the screen, such as pinching or clenching their fists.
Apple Watch will detect the motion to instruct the device to do something. Quoted from Cnet (September 14), users can flick their thumb and forefinger to navigate menus, pinch twice to move backward, and clench to select something on the screen.
3. Messaging features
Users can now use the scribble tool, emoji, or dictation options on the same screen when sending messages. Plus, the Digital Crown can correct transcription errors when using the dictation feature. Like the iPhone, users can also send GIFs by selecting the magnifying glass icon and selecting a row of GIFs in the list.
4. New App
The contacts app is now available on WatchOS 8, so users can edit, add, and browse contacts without taking out their phones. Apple also split the Find My app into two new apps, namely Find Items and Find Devices. They both work as trackers, like ringing an AirTag or finding devices signed in with the same Apple account on the Watch.
5. New flexibility for cyclists
Cyclists get new flexibility by downloading WatchOS 8. Devices can now auto-detect workouts for cycling, plus auto-pause and resume options. Cycling mode also has fall detection, where the Watch will call emergency services and notify emergency contacts when the user has an accident while riding a bicycle.
6. New workout options: Pilates and Tai Chi
WatchOS 8 also features two new types of trackable workouts, Pilates and Tai Chi. Both use customized heart rate and motion algorithms to determine the user’s effort better. Apple’s Fitness Plus is also now getting a picture-in-picture mode.
Apple also moved the Breathe app to the new Mindfulness app. In addition to animations to help guide breathing, a Reflect feature also provides hints to help focus the user’s mind.
The sleep tracker also adds breathing rate to existing sleep metrics such as heart rate and sleep time. Users can see trends over time through the Health app on iPhone.