watchOS 8 release date, compatibility and top new features for Apple Watch.

The annual refresh includes a slew of new features, upgrading the experience of owning one of the best smartwatches around with a Mindfulness app and more workout types. I thought cellular connectivity would elevate the Apple Watch to must-have status, but then I realized that I will never not have my iPhone with me. The 38mm Series 3 case is 38.6mm tall and 33.3mm wide.

It has since been eclipsed, first by the Apple Watch 5 and most recently the new Apple Watch 7. Since the day I bought the first Apple Watch, I’ve believed the reason for its existence is health. All those updates were unveiled at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June, the same as watchOS 8. There’s more to watchOS 8 than all the features mentioned above. watchOS 8: Redesigned Photos app. While Apple didn’t give us a keyboard like we’d hoped, watchOS 8 is bringing new tools to Messaging that should make communicating from your wrist less of a hassle. Downloading emails in the watch Mail app takes seconds, just like on my iPhone. As for watchOS 8 compatibility, Apple will extend support for the Apple Watch 3 and later.

I also activated a new low heart rate alert (which is similar to the high heart rate alert that Apple rolled out in watchOS 4), but so far, so good. The Apple Watch Series 4 makes a great smartwatch even better with sophisticated health sensors and a beautiful screen. Currently, you can only use one method per message. As the iFixIt teardown reveals, the Series 4 has been entirely redesigned from the inside out. And many people tell me they would love an Apple Watch but are put off by the slightly rounded square design that Apple has stuck with since the beginning.

In watchOS 8, Apple is looking to develop the sleep app with metrics that inform your qualify of sleep. I need instant access to weather data, workout mode and music, alongside the date, time and battery percentage. And watchOS 8 finally lets you set multiple timers from your wrist without needing one of the best Apple Watch apps from a third-party developer. In watchOS 7, Apple introduced sleep tracking, letting users see how much time they spend in bed and how much time they spend asleep.

But now that I’ve been living with it for a few days, I’m used to the new size, which isn’t actually all that much bigger — at least, on paper. I was sitting in the audience at Apple Park when Apple COO Jeff Williams revealed the Series 4’s two sizes, and I confess that I audibly groaned when I saw the smallest option was now 40mm. This makes every interaction easier. watchOS 8: Reflect with the new Mindfulness app.

When I started running, the watch vibrated after three minutes to ask if I wanted to launch a running workout. But it’s oh so close. watchOS 8: Set multiple timers. The Apple Watch has improved by an order of magnitude when it comes to performance. Here’s everything you need to know about watchOS 8, including the release date, compatibility and the top new features coming to your Apple Watch. watchOS 8: Top new features for Apple Watch.

That makes it seem like the display is brighter, even when it’s technically not. Our Verdict. watchOS 8 release date, compatibility and top new features for Apple Watch. Scribble, emojis) in the same message. That’s slightly better than my iPhone, which sometimes needs to be charged before I go out in the evening, but falls short of the fitness-focused Fitbit Versa and Samsung’s Galaxy Watch, which both last four days on a charge.

But 2mm can make a big difference on a small wrist. In watchOS 8, it’ll feature fresh animations. They say it looks pretty much the same as the old one.

Sure, that’s just two millimeters larger than the 38mm, which has been the smaller version in every other generation of Apple Watches. Hopefully, you won’t need to. Just start talking.

Expensive. Reflect prompts you to focus on certain moments and think about things that might bring you a sense of calmness. Editable Messages: In watchOS 8, you can correct errors in dictation using the Digital Crown to scroll precisely to the spot in a message you want to fix. In addition to that watch, shipping later this fall, watchOS 8 works with the Apple Watch 6, Apple Watch SE and select previous-generation models —even the older Apple Watch 3. It’s called Mindfulness, taking cues from recent efforts that companies like Fitbit have made toward improving mental wellness — not just physical.

My Siri is a British male, and I nearly jumped out of my chair when he first answered a question for me from the watch. The Series 3 lagged compared to the Series 4. It’s easier to read notifications quickly. While last year’s watchOS 7 wanted you get moving and grooving with Dance tracking, watchOS 8 leans more toward slower, flowing exercise. That makes a huge difference.

Apple Watch Series 4 fitness and music features. Now, your Apple Watch display will adapt to portrait-style photos, creating depth using the existing time and date elements of the photo watch face. If you’re using a Series 0, an upgrade is a no-brainer. The new software will also let you send GIFs easily, as well as use the Digital Crown to scroll through a message when you need to fix a typo.

The watch’s potential became clear. watchOS 8: New workout types. But you still don’t need LTE. But that was it — users couldn’t see advanced information about their overnight disturbances or sleep stages. The watch ticked the usual upgrade boxes: bigger display, thinner case, faster processor, more advanced sensors.

In watchOS 8, the Photos app gets some of the features you’ll find on the Photos app for iPhone. The ECG app is exclusive to the Series 4, because it relies on the electrodes running through the sapphire crystal-and-ceramic back and Digital Crown to take the reading. Having months of heart data stored in an app to show your doctor will be incredibly beneficial to people who would otherwise avoid getting a checkup (or who seek out treatment only to be told that nothing is wrong). But if you find a deal on a refurbished Series 4, it’s still worth picking up and will be improved by the watchOS 8 update. But it’s the Series 4’s health features that brought it closer to fulfilling Apple’s vision of a truly indispensable device.

HomeKit upgrades: watchOS 8 will make your Apple Watch a better tool for navigating your smart home devices with HomeKit. Apple Watch Series 4 health features. The first thing you’ll notice about the Series 4 is its face. watchOS 8: Sleep App gets respiratory rate readings. This watch is too big, I decided.

The Series 4 sports an upgrade accelerometer and gyroscope that can sense when you fall forward or backward and can gauge impact to determine if you’ve fallen unintentionally. I tested the watch ECG against a full 12-lead EKG in a hospital setting, and found it to be accurate. The Series 4 is blazing fast by comparison, thanks to the fourth-gen S4 watch processor. Apple Watch Series 4 verdict.

But in November, Spotify launched a watch app that will support offline music playback down the line. The existing Breathe app will be folded into Mindfulness while receiving a much-needed refresh. That means if you have the Apple Watch 4, Apple Watch 5 or one of the two new Apple Watch models released in 2020, you’ll be able to download watchOS 8 for free. Apple Watch Series 4 battery life. Tom’s Guide Verdict.

I also like to keep my Activity rings on my watch face, so I can quickly see how badly I’m crushing the friends I share activity data with. (Just kidding. I recommend the GPS model. watchOS 8: Portrait photos watch face. Reflect encourages you to set aside time to be more mindful with prompts that make you think.

It lets you swipe through your camera roll, but that’s about it. The company filmed actual vapor, fire, water and liquid metal on a high-speed camera to create the new faces, and the results are stunning. I need it for too many things, not least of which because scrolling through Instagram on a watch isn’t a pleasing experience to the eyes. Let’s say a collective "thank you" to Apple for allowing multiple timers on Apple Watch.

The current Photos app for Apple Watch its pretty unremarkable. Similarly, watchOS 8 can guess what scenes you want to use based on the time of day. Big, beautiful display Advanced health sensors Faster processing power Useful Raise to Speak Siri. Your Apple Watch will track your respiratory rate while sleeping now, and since your sleeping respiratory rate should be consistent, change may indicate shift in overall wellness.

When the new software launches, you’ll be able to see highlights from your Memories and Featured Photos on your watch, providing personalized galleries and collages each day. Both Series 4 models are slightly larger than their predecessors (more on that later), and their displays are more than 30 percent larger. The larger size is a small trade-off for the brilliant display. Don’t try to fool it with a trust fall; it won’t work.

You can access your security cameras, see the status of all your connected gadgets and more. It’s called Portrait and uses portrait photos to create depth, overlaying photo subjects over your time and date information. Even in bright sunlight, I was able to see the five running metrics displayed on-screen during a 3-mile jog without squinting. You can even see if these devices need new batteries, or if their software needs updating.

Food and Drug Administration for two game-changing features: an ECG app capable of taking electrocardiograms on the go, and an atrial fibrillation feature that alerts you when you experience five irregular heart rhythms. Since this metric is consistent, change may indicate shift in your overall wellness. For now, Apple Music is still the only streaming app that lets you save songs offline on your watch. As someone who’s worn the 38mm version of each generation of Apple Watch for the last three years, perhaps it’s more of psychological change than an actual one.

Apple aims to deliver 18 hours on a charge, but it can easily cruise through an entire day. If there’s one feature we can’t wait for in watchOS 8, it’s probably this. Portrait watch face: There’s only one new watch face this year. + Big, beautiful display + Advanced health sensors + Faster processing power + Useful Raise to Speak Siri. Apple doubled down on that promise with the Series 4. Over time, your respiratory rate will be identified with a trend you can learn more about in the Health app on your iPhone.

For instance, if you check your connected doorbell’s video feed, you might see the option to unlock your front door’s smart lock or turn on your smart lights. Apple stripped away the thick bezels surrounding the watch’s display and brought the screen nearly to the edge. You’ll be able to combine multiple composition types in watchOS 8, meaning you can use Scribble, emojis and dictation to form the same message. My husband remarked on the new watch’s slimmer profile, which does make a big difference in look and feel.

The Series 3 was noticeably thicker than past generations, and the Series 4 strips away that bulk. That could soon change with the new Snapdragon 3100 CPU, but Apple is still far ahead when it comes to smartwatch processing power. And should you fall off your bike, fall detection features are part of the software, too. Apple Watch Series 4 review. You’ll find more in-depth summaries of all the top watchOS 8 features below.

Finally being able to edit messages has been a game-changer for Apple Watch, too. The new watch’s speaker is 50 percent louder than the past generation, and it’s noticeable. Now, you can see collages and moments like you can on your phone. watchOS 8 is the Apple Watch’s latest software overhaul.

Some cardiologists are concerned that the ECG app could deliver false positives that will send people to the hospital unnecessarily, but only time and peer-reviewed data will tell. But then Apple realized that the watch’s placement — literally on a person’s body — gave it capabilities the phone could never have. Launching into a run happens almost instantaneously (not including the three-second countdown to prepare). The Apple Watch Series 4 was once the best smartwatch you could buy. Mindfulness app: The new Mindfulness app not only redesigns the existing Breathe feature, but it adds a tool called Reflect.

I pulled up the watch’s Maps app and selected the current location on a Series 3 running watchOS 5 and the new Series 4 side-by-side. That’s right: The smaller Series 4’s display is bigger than the largest Series 3. But imagine the possibilities. Apple has improved the cellular reception on the Series 4, so you’ll get better service outside of major metropolitan areas. The irregular heart rhythm feature and ECG app were not available to test at launch, but rolled out in the watchOS 5.1.2 update.

These mindful moments are a form of meditation you launch from your wrist, wherever you might be. This could convince Spotify subscribers to buy an Apple Watch. Though Apple says Breathe is being used now more than ever, the program hasn’t been updated in several years. The faster processor makes this process relatively quick (almost faster than on my iPhone). The automatic workout detection is particularly useful to me, because I occasionally forget to end a run or start a spinning workout and then end up with inaccurate data (or no data at all).

Sophisticated health sensors elevate the Apple Watch Series 4 from fun accessory to must-have device. Apple is only now unlocking that potential with actionable alerts about heart rate and rhythm. watchOS 8: Other features. Better yet, you can change the font and colors of the time and date to complement your multilayer watch face.

The Series 4 is a significant step toward making the Apple Watch a must-have device. The Apple Watch has always had Siri around, but you had to press on the Digital Crown, which was slow to summon the assistant, or issue a “Hey Siri” command, which is a little weird when you’re out in public. Early one morning, I strapped the 40mm Series 4 to my wrist and hit the pavement for a 3-mile run. Apple introduced new watch faces with the Series 4 to take advantage of the sizable screen.

But my most-used new watch face is Infograph Modular, which puts six pieces of information just a glance away. At the Apple Watch 7 release, Apple also mentioned new cycling tracking capabilities would come to watchOS 8. The optical heart rate sensor enabled high heart rate alerts, giving people information they could use to seek medical treatment. Maybe you don’t need atrial fibrillation alerts or instantly accessible ECG readings.

For more on the ECG app and how to use it, check out our hands-on. Apple Watch Series 4 display. Based on the demonstration, the photo subject will be layered on top of your time and date, with the blurred background remaining behind your watch’s information. watchOS 8: Release date and compatibility.

Siri is still Siri, so you can’t ask anything too complicated. Tai Chi is a form of Chinese martial art that is referred to as “meditation in motion," promoting a more peaceful state of mind. As long as you choose the right photo taken in portrait mode, it shouldn’t obstruct the important things you’d want to see at a glance.

Mostly.) Another Infograph face stuffs eight complications on the watch face, but I find that’s a little too much for me. The official watchOS 8 version is available now, after Apple set a release date during the September Apple event where it unveiled the new Apple Watch 7. Icons are larger and more detailed. By 6:45 p.m., after a day of light app usage, checking email on my commute, sending messages and asking Siri various questions, it had dwindled to just below 50 percent. The Apple Watch Series 4 still lasts about 24 hours on a charge, the same as every model preceding it.

You can also use multiple composition types (ie. The display brightness hasn’t changed from Series 3 to Series 4 — both versions can hit 1,000 nits — but Apple redesigned the interface to take advantage of all the space on the newer watch’s extra-large screen. The 40mm model’s OLED screen is 394×324, compared to the 38mm Series 3’s 340×272 display, and the 44mm model’s is 448×368 versus the 390×312 panel in the 42mm Series 3. Still no Health app for your Apple Watch, unfortunately.

The Series 4 isn’t perfect. Not a year goes by without watchOS introducing new workout types. Sophisticated health sensors elevate the Apple Watch Series 4 from fun accessory to must-have device. Receiving actionable notifications that tell you if your heart rate is too high or low, or your heart rhythm is irregular, is huge. Apple is adding tracking features for cycling in watchOS 8. You just won’t get all the features of the best Apple Watch models currently available.

You couldn’t send photos from Apple Watch before — you could only view them. But raising my wrist and having Siri tell me the weather forecast or sending off a text to my husband is exactly the kind of interaction I want to have with a smartwatch: quick and easy. I’ve spoken to people whose Apple Watches alerted them to major health issues they would have otherwise never known they had. Of course, I’ve also polled coworkers, friends, my husband: “Are you sure this doesn’t look like a computer on my wrist?” More workout types: This year, Apple is adding workout tracking for Tai Chi and new kind of pilates.

Here’s everything else new you can expect to see your Apple Watch when watchOS 8 becomes available this coming Monday. I, thankfully, managed not to fall while testing the watch, so I assume that it works as advertised. (Sorry, not trying to injure myself on the job.) watchOS 8: Huge HomeKit upgrades. That’s it. HomeKit users will be happy to learn watchOS 8 has upgrades for navigating your smart home from your wrist. watchOS 8 can automatically suggest actions for your nearby devices based on what you’re currently controlling.

Both models are lightning quick compared to smartwatches running on Google’s Wear OS and its Qualcomm Snapdragon 2100 chip. By Caitlin McGarry 17 September 2021. Notifications are useful, and the watch can be a stylish accessory, but those are secondary to the information it can give us about our bodies, right now and in the future. Why did Apple mess with a good thing? Apple did bump up the battery size in the Series 4, according to an iFixIt teardown of the 40mm watch.

Respiratory rate: Now, when you enable sleep tracking on your Apple Watch, it will track your respiratory rate overnight. The atrial fibrillation feature will be available on any watch running watchOS 5 or later. But now that the price of a brand new Apple Watch has increased to $399/£399, and an LTE model starts at $499/£499 (not including a data plan) the price just seems too high for what you get.

Apple Watch Series 4 GPS or Cellular. You can easily share photos from your Apple Watch with contacts via Messages and Mail, too. The Apple Watch has been coasting on 18-hour battery life since it launched, which makes it less than ideal for tracking sleep, and that hasn’t changed with the Series 4. I tried the watch on in the hands-on area following the announcement, which did little to dissuade me. In addition to Breathe, Mindfulness will offer a new tool called Reflect. The Apple Watch is getting an all-new app this year.

The official watchOS 8 release date is Sept. 20 — the same day Apple will also rolled out updates for iOS 15, iPadOS 15 and tvOS 15. I subscribe to podcasts in Overcast, which automatically syncs episodes to my watch and helpfully tells me which ones are available to listen to only on my phone if I’ve interrupted a syncing session.

Building on the Mindfulness app and other mental wellness initiatives, watchOS 8 will bring Tai Chi and activity tracking for a new Pilates type to the Workout app. Apple Watch Series 4 performance. It’s about dang time.

Another critical health feature, fall detection, is available to use right away. According to Apple, the custom Photo watch face is the most popular among Apple Watch users. On the Series 4, the effects are more dramatic: flames unfurl to lick the sides of the display on one face, and vapor overtakes your wrist like fog rolling in over the Golden Gate Bridge on another. The new battery has slightly increased capacity over the battery in the 38mm Series 3, but that doesn’t deliver a meaningful increase in battery life.

Apple Watch Series 4 size. New Photos app: Apple is giving the Photos app a major facelift. It’s still not perfect. I also love support for offline podcast syncing, which works in Apple Podcasts or in third-party apps.

Apple Watch Series 4 Siri integration. Against. Then it gave me credit for the three minutes and miles that I had missed. The Series 4 is 39.8mm tall and 34.4mm wide. So you won’t get Breathe notifications like you have in the past, but you will receive Mindfulness notifications in the morning and at night encouraging both Breathe and Reflect sessions.

Multiple timers: You can set multiple timers at once from your Apple Watch. Just three years ago, the Series 0 relied on your iPhone for every interaction and took ages to load anything. The software will detect when you’re cycling, as well as when you start and stop. It’s also oh so expensive: The watch started at $399/£399 for the GPS model, and $499/£499 if you want cellular connectivity. When the first Apple Watch launched in 2015, it was more of a pricey iPhone accessory than an essential device.

What’s the best Apple Watch for you? : All the changes. These dynamic faces are also available on the Series 3, but they’re contained to the radius surrounding the dial. You can wear the watch to sleep if you want to use a third-party sleep-tracking app, but my dream is for Apple to both build its own sleep app and improve battery life so I can see my sleep cycles without having to charge the watch as soon as I wake up.

The Series 4 now lets you call upon Siri just by raising your wrist and speaking. Apple received clearance from the U.S. watchOS 8: New tools for Messages. I prefer to keep it simple.

At any time you can view your camera feeds, and see the status of any of your other smart home devices. With a few taps, you’ll also have the option to share photos via Messages and Mail directly from your wrist.

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