The new watchOS 8 version succeeds last year’s version watchOS 7 will be available for first-time developers to test their apps starting now, with a public beta release in July.
A final public release is expected later this fall.
Apple introduces the new Mindfulness app, an extension of the Breathe app that encourages you to breathe throughout the day.
The app adds new animations and other features to help you relax.
And Fitness app gets more types of exercises for Tai Chi and Pilates. The Health app from the Apple Watch explicitly tracks your breathing during sleep and notifies you if it’s outside of your normal patterns.
A new screen interface lets you use a photo taken using Portrait mode on your iPhone and layer text and other information behind it.
And Apple says: You’ll be able to customize the text shown and how it integrates with the image itself.
Likewise, the Photos app is upgraded across the watch with a new design and the ability to share photos directly through Messages or the Apple Mail app. There are new options for entering text when replying to messages.
WatchOS 8 gains some new features coming in iOS 15. Including a new focus mode that lets you choose apps or contacts to send you notifications in specific contexts.
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Apple announces watchOS 8:
Apple says the Apple Watch Series 6 is getting support to act as a car key, using its own UWB chip. And theYou’ll also be able to use your watch to search for other Apple devices, such as AirTag.
The Home app, which lets you control smart home gadgets from your Apple Watch, has been redesigned for watchOS 8, with more shortcuts for commonly used devices and the ability to view a camera feed from security cameras.
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And there are a few new features coming as well. Including precipitation alerts in the next hour.
And more native apps will be able to take advantage of your Apple Watch’s always-on display. Including maps, wake up, now play, phone, podcast, stopwatch, timers, and voice memos.
Apple says it provides an API for third-party apps to use as well.
In addition, you can set multiple simultaneous timers across your Apple Watch and give them unique names. And theApple says watchOS 8 will be available for models dating back to Apple Watch Series 3.