[WWDC 2021] watchOS 8 Introduces Multiple New Features To Apple Watch
Apple recently showed off a preview of their new watchOS 8 with a slew of new features coming to the Apple Watch. The new watchOS offers greater access with Wallet, more capabilities with the Home app, new workout types, and an updated Breathe app.
What’s new with watchOS 8?
The new watchOS 8 brings Ultra Wideband support for digital car keys on Apple Watch Series 6. This will allow Apple Watch users to unlock their cars from afar and start them from the driver’s seat. Users will also be able to add other keys either for their homes, office or hotel to Wallet and use their Apple Watch to unlock. Apple will also allow users to add their driver’s license or identification later this year, however, this will only be available in certain states in the US for the time being.
The new watchOS 8 also introduces a redesigned Home app that offers more convenient access to accessories and scenes needed in a particular moment and controls accessories by room. Users with HomeKit-enabled cameras can directly view the feed from their Apple Watch as well as use Intercom to broadcast a message via HomePod, HomePod mini, or other personal devices.
Furthermore, the new watchOS 8 update sees Apple introduce new workout types; Tai Chi and Pilates that are supported by powerful, validated custom-built heart rate and motion algorithms to provide users with accurate metrics. The Breathe app has also seen it evolve to become the Mindfulness app with new and enhanced features like Breathe and Reflect. Reflect offers a mindful intention to focus on and welcomes the user with a unique, thoughtful notion to consider that invites a positive frame of mind.
watchOS 8 also offers users more insight into their overall wellness by tracking sleeping respiratory rate, which is the number of breaths per minute via the Health app on iPhone. Other new features include:
- New Portraits watch face – Brings to life stunning portrait photos shot on iPhone with an immersive, multilayered effect, intelligently recognising faces in photos and cropping in to highlight the subject.
- Redesigned Photos app – 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.
- New tools in Messages – Users can combine the use of Scribble, dictation, and emoji all within the same message, and for dictated messages, they have the option to edit the presented text. Can also search for GIFs in messages.
- Contacts app now on Apple Watch
- Focus support – Focus uses on-device intelligence to make suggestions based on usage patterns and helps users reduce distraction and be in the moment.
Pokdepinion: I honestly really like what Apple is doing with the Apple Watch which I have yet to see other developers do with their own smartwatches. While I would love to have an Apple Watch for myself, diving into that ecosystem isn’t really something I can afford at the moment. Maybe sometime in the future?