watchOS 8 release date, features and everything you need to know

While watchOS 8 releases today for the Apple Watch, an Apple Watch Series 7 was confirmed at the September 14 event, but there wasn’t a release date.

© Provided by TechRadar watchOS 8

The new software update brings a new Mindfulness app, sleep app updates to track Respiratory Rate, Fitness Plus updates, and more. They don’t look like huge changes, but check watchOS 8 features below for all the new perks coming to your Apple Watch.

And there’s good news for older Apple Watch owners: the watchOS 8 support devices list hasn’t changed from last year’s watchOS 7, meaning Apple Watch 3 and newer devices will be able to download the operating system.

A watchOS 8 public beta was released at the end of June, and it’s available to anyone with a watchOS 8-compatible Apple Watch (scroll below for the full list). If you want an early look at what’s coming in the full release, you can download it now.

However, Apple announced an event for September 14, which revealed updates to its iPad, iPhone and Apple Watch line, alongside today’s release date for watchOS 8. If you missed the event, you can catch up with what was announced.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The next major Apple Watch software update
  • When is it out? September 20
  • How much will it cost? It will be free

watchOS 8 release date

The watchOS 8 update will lands today on September 20, not long after the September 14 event, where the Apple Watch Series 7, the iPad (2021), iPad mini (2021) and the iPhone 13 line were all confirmed.

Introducing iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro, all-new iPad mini, Apple Watch Series 7, and so much more! Check out the highlights from today’s #AppleEvent. pic.twitter.com/2Vas3M4NB4September 14, 2021

See more

While the Apple Watch Series 7 is yet to have a release date, you can update to watchOS 8 on your existing watch from September 20, so you can take advantage of the latest features.

watchOS 8 supported devices

The watchOS 8 update is officially compatible with all models from the Apple Watch 3 onwards, according to Apple’s official WWDC 2021 announcement. This doesn’t shift from the watchOS 7 compatibility list, so if you’ve gotten last year’s big update, you’ll be able to run this year’s new software, too. 

You’ll need an iPhone compatible with the next version of iOS, so if you want to upgrade to watchOS 8, you’ll need to pair it with at least an iPhone 6S running iOS 15.

watchOS 8 features

The watchOS 8 update offers a number of smaller features, all augmenting how you normally use your Apple Watches. While we didn’t see any monumental upgrades this time around, there are some quality of life improvements for existing apps and new functionality.

Wallet: digital IDs, now on your Apple Watch

The Wallet app is adding more ways to wirelessly interact with places and things. Some of this is limited to the Apple Watch 6 and its Ultra Wideband tech, like the ability to unlock your car (first unveiled at WWDC 2020 and coming to select vehicles) and start it from the driver’s seat, per Apple’s press release.

But most Apple Watches should be able to benefit from adding more digital keys to Wallet for their home, office, and hotel, and use their wearables to unlock them. 

Perhaps most surprising: individuals in participating US states will be able to add their driver’s license or state ID to Wallet, and some TSA checkpoints will start accepting these digital IDs – just add them in the iOS Wallet app and you can display them on your Apple Watch.

New Mindfulness app and sleep tracking

The Breathe app has been incorporated into the new Mindfulness app along with a new activity, Reflect, to walk users through a different kind of mindful session reflecting on past events. 

Sleep tracking now monitors a new metric – respiratory rate – which measures breaths per minute. And all data fed into the Health app is also folded into new Trends, tracking how your health metrics shift over longer periods of time.

Workout app and Apple Fitness Plus

The watchOS Workout app is getting two new workout activities – Tai Chi and Pilates, both of which are more relaxed and mindful exercises to accompany the yoga workout. These have custom-built heart rate and motion algorithms, per Apple’s press release

There’s also new functionality in the Apple Fitness Plus watchOS app, like Picture in Picture support and more filtering options. You can also transfer workouts seamlessly between devices, pausing exercise on one and starting it again on another. 

Fitness Plus is also adding more workouts by expert Jeanette Jenkins, as well as a new musical Artist Spotlight Series with workouts tuned to entire playlists by artists like Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, and Alicia Keys.

Photos and Portrait watch faces

The Photos app has been redesigned with new ways to navigate collections, while Memories and Featured Photos sync to the Apple Watch from the iOS app. A new Portraits watch face lets you turn your Portrait-mode photos into watch faces and twist the crown to alter depth. 

The Apple Watch will also display the time or complications behind the person in the Portrait, so you won’t get numbers covering up their features.

Messages and GIF responses

Messages also gets more granular controls, like twisting the crown to move the cursor and even the capability to search and reply with GIFs. There’s also a new Contacts app brought over to watchOS to browse, edit, and share contacts from your Apple Watch.

New features in other products also add Apple Watch features, like Intercom, an upgrade for the Home app that lets you see who’s at the door via live video feed and even greet them.

The new Focus feature in iOS also comes to watchOS 8: whichever Focus users set on their iPhone will carry over to their Apple Watch, allowing them to set their notification settings to prioritize work, fitness, sleep, or simply do not disturb.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Sarah Snook reveals she secretly married Aussie comedian Dave Lawson

Australian actress Sarah Snook revealed she secretly tied the knot with comedian Dave Lawson earlier this year. In an interview with Vogue Australia, the Succession star, 33, said the pair ... Read more »

How to watch Fear the Walking Dead season 7 online from anywhere

Are you ready to step back into the post-apocalyptic world of walkers that Robert Kirkman created? Well, season 7 of Fear the Walking Dead is returning to our screens and ... Read more »

Hope tourists may return before Christmas

Tourists, migrant workers and international students could start flooding back to Australia before Christmas. © Bianca De Marchi/AAP PHOTOS People have been told to be cautious as the nation reopens ... Read more »

Eastern suburbs cocaine crackdown: $50,000 in drugs seized, 17 charged

A taxi driver allegedly carrying 34 bags of cocaine in his vehicle is among 17 people charged with drug-related offences after a police blitz in Sydney’s eastern suburbs at the ... Read more »

Newlywed husband sparks internet debate after putting wife on budget

A newlywed husband has sparked an internet debate this week after sharing that he was putting his wife on a ‘spending ban’ just months after their wedding. The man took ... Read more »

Big investment in green hydrogen production by Ineos

Chemical giant Ineos is to invest around £1.69 billion in green hydrogen production. The company said it will be Europe’s largest ever investment in electrolysis projects to make green hydrogen ... Read more »

Virgin Media O2 launches first joint product in bid to take on BT

Virgin Media O2 has launched its first joint product since the two company’s £31 billion merger earlier this year to take on BT. Customers of both brands can expect their ... Read more »

Molecule could prevent damaging cell changes caused by type 2 diabetes – study

Researchers have identified a molecule that could help prevent damage to cells caused by type 2 diabetes and obesity. They say a large proportion of the damaging chemical changes that ... Read more »

"She didn't deserve to die." 11 months after Melissa Caddick disappeared, her husband has spoken.

This post deals with suicide and might be triggering for some readers. © Getty Images “She didn’t deserve to die.” 11 months after Melissa Caddick disappeared, her husband has spoken. ... Read more »

Search for 4-year-old girl Cleo Smith ramps up in Western Australia

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo A desperate search for a missing four-year-old girl has entered its third day with police releasing footage of the remote campsite from where ... Read more »

Barnaby Joyce warns on Coalition after net zero impasse

Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce has warned of a “ripple effect” through the Coalition if his party is put under pressure to endorse a cut in carbon emissions to net zero ... Read more »

New trailers: The Beatles: Get Back, Narcos: Mexico, The Batman, Hawkeye, and more

Happy Succession day to all of us who are celebrating, the show returns tonight and I look forward to being welcomed back by the dissonant piano chords of its theme ... Read more »

Fauci says people 'react against me' when 'truth becomes inconvenient'

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Dr. Anthony Fauci has argued that he has been an easy target for conspiracy theorists because he makes recommendations based on ‘science, data and ... Read more »

ICAC inquiry into former NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian begins today

An ICAC hearing into former New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian is set to begin today. The public hearing will form part of an investigation into whether Ms Berejiklian breached ... Read more »

International travel 'vaccine passports' to be available this week

Australians are a step closer to travelling overseas as the Federal Government starts to roll out technology that proves your COVID-19 vaccine status around the world. From tomorrow, any Aussie ... Read more »

Man charged with assault over hammer attack and carjacking in Adelaide's south

© Provided by ABC NEWS (News Video) A man has been arrested over last week’s brazen hammer attack in Adelaide’s southern suburbs, in which an elderly driver was struck as he gave ... Read more »

Ex-Labor mayor to front corruption inquiry

A mayor of a council in Melbourne’s northeast who quit the Labor party after being accused of branch stacking is set to appear before an anti-corruption inquiry.  © Julian Smith/AAP PHOTOS ... Read more »

Net zero by 2050 climate plan may not be decided by COP26, as Nationals' Barnaby Joyce warns against being 'forced into a corner'

© Provided by ABC NEWS The Nationals are still deciding on a climate plan for carbon neutrality by 2050. (ABC News: Nick Haggarty) Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce says his party ... Read more »

Victoria records 1903 cases of COVID-19 as Melbourne on cusp of freedom

Victoria has recorded 1903 new local coronavirus cases today as the state prepares for lockdown to be lifted this week. Another seven people died from the virus yesterday. There were ... Read more »

Will and Kate's recycled outfits

© Provided by Are Media Pty Ltd Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge have made a stunning appearance on the ‘green carpet’ at the first Earthshot Prize Awards. Prince ... Read more »

Channing Tatum addresses Dave Chappelle controversy: 'I understand and hate that he has hurt so many people'

Channing Tatum addressed Dave Chappelle‘s work in a new Instagram Stories post. (Photo: Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images) Though he noted that it's “very dangerous” to do so, Channing ... Read more »

Father of alleged jihadi suspected of killing Sir David Amess had himself faced Islamist threats

Members of a police search team enter the home of Ali Harbi Ali in Kentish Town, north London The father of the alleged jihadist being held on suspicion of murdering ... Read more »

All-Stars! Drew Barrymore 'Fangirls' Over Chelsea Handler and Amy Schumer

© Provided by US Weekly Drew Barrymore ‘Fangirls’ Over Chelsea Handler, Amy Schumer and More Famous Faces in All-Star Photo Fangirl moment! Drew Barrymore shared a social media snap with ... Read more »

Chrissie Swan leaves Celebrity MasterChef

© Provided by Are Media Pty Ltd The radio host and former Big Brother star Chrissie Swan is the first contestant to leave Celebrity MasterChef, and even though her nerves ... Read more »

Vic has 1903 new COVID cases, seven deaths

© Erik Anderson/AAP PHOTOS Melbourne’s pubs can open for 20 fully vaccinated customers indoors, and 50 outdoors, from Friday. Victoria has reported 1903 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases and seven ... Read more »

Queen gives the go ahead for Buckingham Palace to light up green

Royal fans have expressed delight after Buckingham Palace was illuminated in green in honour of the inaugural Earthshot Prize awards. Queen Elizabeth has given the go ahead for the extraordinary ... Read more »

Police divers join hunt for missing Queensland spear fisherman

Police divers have joined the hunt for a missing Queensland spear fisherman as the search enters its third day. The 26-year-old man went missing at Sudbury Reef off Cairns on ... Read more »

NSW has 265 COVID-19 cases, five deaths

NSW has reported 265 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 and five deaths, as thousands of children head back to school and more restrictions are eased for fully vaccinated adults. ... Read more »

Would YOU have Botox for your hair?

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Why, after years — nay decades — of being a Botox refusenik do I find myself sitting in a salon on the receiving ... Read more »

Charlene's dramatic new look sparks concern

© Provided by Are Media Pty Ltd Princess Charlene of Monaco has shared a new photo from her extended stay in South Africa, but her appearance has left fans concerned. ... Read more »

LUCY CAVENDISH called in a 'mindful mover'

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo When Caroline Harley arrives at the door of my five-bedroom cottage in Oxfordshire, I am not in a happy state of mind. She’s ... Read more »

Severe drought sends Lake Tahoe water levels below natural rim

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Lake Tahoe’s water levels have dropped about half-an-inch below its natural rim as experts warn that another dry winter could put the body ... Read more »

Vic hotel quarantine to be 'thing of past'

© Erik Anderson/AAP PHOTOS Melbourne’s pubs can open for 20 fully vaccinated customers indoors, and 50 outdoors, from Friday. Victoria is set to scrap hotel quarantine for international travellers fully ... Read more »

Seahawks vs Steelers live stream: how to watch NFL Sunday Night Football from anywhere

Is Bygone Ben about to become Bounceback Ben? It was all doom and gloom for the Steelers a week ago, but the outlook is much sunnier now especially with Geno ... Read more »

IAN LADYMAN: Why the other Harry must ask to Leave Spurs too

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo  At most football clubs where there has been dysfunction and a quick turnaround of managers, there is usually a player who particularly suffers. At ... Read more »

Solskjaer's support starts to splinter

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Before this thrilling but ultimately one-sided game, both teams had been struggling for form. Leicester had not won a game of note since ... Read more »

Matt Fitzpatrick secures success in the Andalucia Masters

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo How appropriate that a Ryder Cup venue proved the setting as Matt Fitzpatrick moved on from last month’s bitter disappointment at Whistling Straits ... Read more »

Restaurants, pubs and hairdressers booked as Melbourne lockdown ends

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Phones are running hot for hairdressers, pubs and restaurants as fully vaccinated Melburnians get ready for their first taste of freedom in months. ... Read more »

Caution still needed despite more freedoms

Experts have urged Australians to be cautious as lockdowns end and the country reopens, to lessen pressure on hospitals. © Bianca De Marchi/AAP PHOTOS People have been told to be ... Read more »

Prince William and Duchess Catherine's surprising fashion rule at glamorous event sees the royals recycling outfits

© Provided by Are Media Pty Ltd Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge have made a stunning appearance on the ‘green carpet’ at the first Earthshot Prize Awards. Prince ... Read more »