Info-tech

WWDC 2021: Apple previews watchOS 8

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on June 08, 2021

The company has added multiple new features for better access and connectivity

Apple previewed the new watchOS 8 with new access, connectivity, and mindfulness features for the Apple Watch at its WWDC 2021 event on Monday.

The watchOS8 will come with a redesigned Home app with better access to accessories and scenes needed in a particular moment, and the ability to control accessories by room. Users with a HomeKit-enabled camera will be able to view the feed on their watch.

Apple Watch users can also tap Intercom to quickly broadcast a message throughout the home or to individual rooms via HomePod, HomePod mini, or other personal devices.

It has also extended updates for the Wallet and Home apps to Apple Watch.

Digital car keys will now be supported on the Apple Watch Series 6. As announced on Monday, users will also be able to add more keys supported by various partners including home, office and hotel keys to Wallet, and tap their Apple Watch to unlock. Later this year, beginning with participating states in the US, users will be able to add their driver’s license or state ID to Wallet. Select TSA checkpoints will be the first place users can begin using their digital ID, Apple said.

It has also revamped the Breathe app. It has also added Tai Chi and Pilates workout types.

It has added the Portraits watch face and has made enhancements to Messages and the Photos app.

Other features

The new health feature is tracking sleeping respiratory rate, which is the number of breaths per minute. To do this, Apple Watch uses the built-in accelerometer to measure respiratory rate while sleeping, and this information can be viewed, along with trends over time, in the Health app on iPhone. This metric is also available for developers to use with permission through HealthKit. watchOS 8 will also support Focus, a set of tools available in iOS 15 to help users reduce distraction.

Additionally, to support Apple Watch users with upper-body limb differences, it will have the AssistiveTouch feature to enable one-arm usage of Apple Watch by sensing hand gestures to interact without touching the display.

A new Find Items app on Apple Watch will help users locate tagged items using the Find My network, and a new Find Devices app helps users locate lost Apple devices that are signed in with the same Apple ID. It has also redesigned the Music app.

The developer beta of watchOS 8 is available to Apple Developer Program members at developer.apple.com. A public beta will be available to watchOS users next month at beta.apple.com. watchOS 8 will be available this fall as a free software update for Apple Watch Series 3 or later paired with iPhone 6s or later, running iOS 15. Some features may not be available in all regions or all languages, or on all devices.

Published on June 08, 2021

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