WatchOS 8 is set to bring some new features to your Apple Watch.
Including a new mindfulness app.
Some extra workout types as well as messaging improvements.
So let's dive in and see what's new.
So first off, these features will be coming to the full release of watch OS eight which is expected sometime in the fall.
If you are a developer, you can download the developer Beta right now.
And the public beta will be available sometime in July.
And there is good news if you are in a series three, because watch us eight will be compatible with this series three and later.
So that's good news if you are an owner of an older Apple Watch.
So let's talk about some of those smart features First off, so you'll be able to use car key with the Apple Watch So it's going to utilize the ultra wideband or UWB chip in the Apple Watch Series six, and you'll be able to do things remotely with your vehicle as long as your vehicle is compatible, including things like locking or unlocking your car.
Maybe it's turning on the air conditioning, or even starting your engine.
And the wallet app will also get a bit of an overhaul as well.
You'll be able to add not only keys for your home and maybe even your office badge, but also hotel keys you can access those on your wrist.
And similar to how we've seen in iOS 15.
You'll also be able to access your digital ID if you decide to put that on your phone or watch.
You can use your driver's license or state issued ID at certain TSA checkpoints you'll be able to use the watch and not have to physically carry your wallet.
If you don't want to
Now this came as a surprise to me the photos watch face is actually the most popular watch face for users on the Apple Watch, at least according to Apple.
And so now what you'll be able to do is make a portrait mode, watch face So you can take a portrait mode photo taken on the iPhone and put that as your watch face on the Apple Watch.
And then the watch is going to use segmentation to be able to separate the subject from the background.
So you'll be able to see more details that will pop out of the screen a little bit more
And if you like to fidget with the digital crown and interact with the watch face, you can make the subject kind of move in and out a little bit.
And the watch face will also know where to place things like the time so you'll probably see that on certain watch faces that the time will actually appear just behind the head of your subject.
Which is a nice touch.
Speaking of photos, the Photos app is also updated on the Apple Watch.
You'll also be able to now share images from the app through mail or messaging itself from the watch.
And you'll also have collections like memories and featured photos synced from the iPhone to the apple.
One of the big headlines for watchOS 8 is this new mindfulness app.
This actually houses the Breathe App, which you might already be familiar with from the Apple Watch, as well as a new Reflect App.
I like to think of reflect a little bit like a yogi or a guru on your wrist.
It's giving you some prompts to make you think of positive times or Positive thoughts focusing on your breath or particular moments in your life for example to help you relax, and also reflect both the breathe and the reflect part of the mindfulness app will give you some tips on what you can do to help improve and you'll be able to see mindfulness minutes log within the Health app on the iPhone.
That will bring in information from those sessions that you've done on the Apple Watch, as well as third party meditation apps.
IOS 15 has this new mode called Focus that helps you limit distractions and only have notifications from certain people and certain apps coming through.
Now that will also carry over to the Apple watch.
You will be able to see that in the Control Center from the Apple watch by just swiping up From the iPhone screen.
And of course it will sync automatically with whatever setting you already have set on the iPhone.
And also the more suggestions based on how you use the watch.
So for example if you start say a workout, it might pop up and say maybe you would want to put on the fitness focus method.
So not so many distractions Get in the way of your workout.
Speaking of workouts, there are two new workout types.
The first is Tai Chi and the second one is Pilates.
You might be thinking Wait, there was already a Pilates load in that other section on the apple.
Watch Well, these two new workout types have custom algorithms that are actually determining your effort rather than the more generic movement types, that were counted previously, taking into account your heart rate and movement.
These ones are specific for these particular activities, and if you use fitness plus, which is Apple's subscription service, that is all to do with fitness classes.
And workouts that works directly with the Apple watch.
There are now a picture-in-picture mode, some new filters as well as some specific playlist based around certain artists like Lady Gaga.
Some other health features to talk about include a new sleep respiration rate.
Now we did see sleep tracking debut on the watch.
Seven last year but that was really just focused on things.
Like making you more aware of your bedtime routine and creating some healthy habits.
It didn't really dive that deep into data like some other fitness trackers were doing, you would really be able to see things like resting heart rate, and your blood oxygen level overnight if you were wearing this series six, for example, but now you'll be able to see.
Sleep respiration rate and you'll be able to get an idea of trends over time.
Now Apple hasn't specifically said this is designed to identify anything like any potential issue.
It's just to give you an idea of your overall health and determine some trends.
But maybe potentially it could be used To help look at conditions such as sleep apnea, again, not a medical device and it would be used in conjunction with your doctor, but the more information the better.
Now let's talk about some of the new messaging tools you'll be able to use a combination of dictation and merges and the scribble tool to be able to send and also edit messages You can now send teeny tiny animated gifts, so gifts from your wrist and the contacts app is now available on the Apple Watch.
And if you're using dictation to send a message, you'll now be able to edit that message once the transcription pops up on your screen.
I know I will definitely be using this quite a lot because someone with an accent, it's not 100% accurate with getting what I'm trying to say One other app that has been redesigned is the Home app so you'll be able to see a lot of your home devices.
On the one screen it will also reprioritize the devices and how they show up.
So if you use say, a home pod in your living room much more than any other device In your house, it will surface that towards the top and it will start to learn over time which ones that you're using the most.
You can control different accessories room by room on your watch.
And if you have a home kit camera, you'll be able to see those cameras directly from the watch face itself.
And here's a feature to help annoy friends, family.
Children and pets in your home.
It is intercom.
You will be able to page different rooms, devices in each room or the entire house to send your voice messages.
So no more being like fidinna, there's just no excuse anymore.
And finally just a bit of laundrylistic features that we are getting, multiple times klimas finally thank you so much I'm so I don't know why it took them so long.
But I'm just so glad that we now have the ability to set multiple timers on the watch.
Now more of the apps are going to support the always on display.
So if you have a series five or series six or later, you will now be able to see some other apps surface on that screen such as maps, the phone app, the timers and the mindfulness app.
And a couple more.
And one final feature coming to watch IOS eight that we did see announced a couple of weeks ago is Assistive Touch.
Now this uses accelerometers and gyroscopes and heart rate sensors.
In the Apple Watch itself to let users navigate the watch without having to physically touch the watch screen itself or interact with any of the physical controls.
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