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watchOS 8 gets new health features and photos updates

By Ken Wong - on 8 Jun 2021, 5:12am

watchOS 8 gets new health features and photos updates

watchOS 8 will be arriving this Fall.

During Apple’s WWDC 2021 event, they showcased some changes coming to watchOS 8.

 

Get healthy and become centred

Reflect will show the user inspirational quotes.

Let’s start with health and fitness.

Breathe is now part of a new Mindfulness app together with Reflect. While Breathe helps centre your mind as Apple says, each Reflect session tries to bring the user into a positive frame of mind. Together, Mindfulness adds some form of meditation with new animations and sayings to help users relax.

The respiratory rate shown in the iOS health app shows the trend of the user when sleeping over time.

As part of their usual health tracking routine like time asleep, heart rate, and blood oxygen levels, users can now track their sleeping respiratory rate, which is the number of breaths per minute while sleeping. This information can be viewed, along with trends over time, in the Health app on iPhone where any deviation from the norm could indicate a potential health problem.

Focus is something new added for watchOS 8. iOS 15 allows users to set a Focus level so that that notifications from people and apps are filtered based on what a user is currently doing. This can be carried over from the users iPhone or iPad to their Apple Watch.

New workouts and trainers are coming to Fitness+.

The fitness app is getting two new workouts for Tai Chi and Pilates.  These workouts will be supported by validated custom-built heart rate and motion algorithms to provide users with accurate metrics.

Apple Fitness+ has a series of new workouts from fitness expert Jeanette Jenkins. Plus, there are a number of new Artist Spotlight Series with workouts featuring music artists like Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, and Alicia Keys.

 

Moving on to the apps

The new Portraits face uses photos and can be modified to suit the user.

Photos is another app to get an upgrade.

There is a new Portraits watch face that can recognise faces in photos and cropping in to highlight the subject in photos shot on the iPhone.

The Photos app on the Apple Watch will so do a lot more.

The Photos app itself is also redesigned, offering new ways to view and navigate collections. Memories and Featured Photos now sync to Apple Watch, and photos can be shared through Messages and Mail with the new Share Sheet.

Messages was one of the Apple Watch apps highlighted in WWDC 2021.

To make communication in Messages even easier for users, they can now use Scribble, dictation, and emojis all within the same message. Within dictated messages, users can now also edit the presented text. Animated GIFs can also be added

To easily add even more expression to a message, users can simply enter a word or phrase and select from hundreds of trending GIFs.

 

Getting more out of Wallet

Some of the partners creating digital keys for Wallet.

Apple Wallet will support digital car keys using Ultra-Wideband support first announced at WWDC 2020. Besides car keys, users can also add and use keys for their home, office, and hotel to Wallet. Users in the United States living in participating states will be able to add their driver’s license or state ID to Wallet. Selected TSA checkpoints will be the first place users can begin using their digital ID.

 

Availability of watchOS 8

The list of the upgrades coming in watchOS 8.

According to Apple, watchOS 8 will be available this fall as a free software update for Apple Watch Series 3 or later paired with iPhone 6s or later that is running iOS 15.

 

Read More from WWDC 2021:

iPadOS 15

iOS 15

macOS Monterey

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