Apple wants to release the new watchOS 8 starting with the Apple Watch Series 3. In the process, the new operating system is to get a new Home app and support ultra-wideband for car keys.
Apple Watch Series 6
The new Apple Watch Series 6 uses Apple’s first proprietary U1 chip, which offers ultra-wideband connectivity. With watchOS 8, the chip used is unlocked for digital car keys for the first time. This can then be used for the BMW iX, for example. Until now, this was only possible via Bluetooth and NFC. In addition, the Apple Wallet will be expanded by further functions under watchOS 8 in iOS 15. Thus, the smartwatch should then also act as a house key, room key for hotels and in the U.S. later also as an ID and driver’s license by depositing these. .
Home app has been revised
The new Home app will then also offer new workouts and enhanced tracking when sleeping. This has just been revamped to provide faster access to accessories and customized scenery in the smart home. There is also the new live view of smart door handles with camera. Apart from that, the watch can also be used as an intercom, this can then be used to send voice messages to the HomePod (mini) and other devices with HomeKit support in defined rooms.
The new workouts now include Pilates and Tai Chi, where the tracking of movements and heart rate has been directly adapted for the two new workouts. The new workouts are accompanied by a new app for breathing, i.e. for short meditations. The new app is called Mindfulness by Apple, which includes new breathing exercises and a kind of short meditation (Reflect). In addition, there is also a hypnotic animation on the smartwatch, where the user is encouraged to remember calming, beautiful or even happy moments and then reflect on them.
The sleep tracking has also been improved, so it is extended under watchOS 8 so that the breathing rate is now also recorded. Previously, the time of sleep, the heart rate and the oxygen content in the blood were measured. To capture the breathing rate, Apple uses the accelerometer built into the smartwatch.
New watch face for portraits
The most popular watch face so far is the photo watch face, on top of that there is now another one, the watch face for portraits. When the dial is displayed, the background is blurred and the corresponding pictures are automatically cropped by the iPhones to fit, so that the people in the picture are the focus and take up the main part of the dial. In the same vein, the photo app has also been redesigned so that memories, collections and favorites can be synchronized with the smartwatch. Furthermore, photos can be shared via Mail or Messages in the new Share menu.
Scribble function and focus profiles
With the new Scribble function can now be used in one and the same message, finger painted, dictated and also emojis. In addition, there is the possibility of manual adjustment of dictated messages. Furthermore, GIFs can be searched for on the smartwatch and the Contacts app is now also available on the smartwatch.
Apart from that, watchOS 8 now also has focus profiles like iOS 15, so the smartwatch automatically adopts the profile that is active on the paired iPhone. For example, when a workout is started, the watch then recommends switching to the appropriate fitness profile. In addition, there are many other small changes, such as more applications for the always-on display, AssistiveTouch, AirTags for searching for items, music app with a share function, new weather app and many more.
The final release is planned from the Apple Watch Series 3 in the fall. A beta of watchOS 8 is already available for download for developers, and a public beta will follow in July.