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What to expect from when you update your Apple Watch to watchOS 8

Available from today onwards, here’s how the latest watchOS8 on the Apple Watch will change things for you.

With the recent announcement of the iPhone 13 and a new range of iPad, Apple has plenty in store for iOS users, starting with the latest Apple Watch update that is made available starting today. Wondering what the Watch has got prepped in watchOS 8? Here’s a glimpse into the software update so you’ll know what to expect.

watchOS 8 is all about keeping healthy, in mind and body. Now more than ever, maintaining good health is the priority for everyone. Your well-being doesn’t just refer to physical exercise; it also has to do with keeping your mental health in check. With the latest watchOS 8 on the Apple Watch, you can do it all right from your wrist.

The new watchOS 8 helps you stay connected and keep active like never before. All you need to do to enjoy these and many other great features is to firstly update your Apple Watch. Read on to find out what you can expect and enjoy from the new watchOS 8 update. 

Apple Watch Watch OS8
Know your sleeping respiratory rate by calculating your breaths per minute as you sleep.

Be more mindful with yourself

The popular Breathe app has gotten a brand new upgrade and has been renamed Mindfulness. With its new Reflect feature, the app takes the action head-on and asks you to focus on a short, thought-provoking theme while a beautiful animation helps you visualise over the course of one minute. The Breathe feature has also been refreshed with new visualisations and tips that help you focus, centre and connect as you breathe, reinforcing your mind-body connection.

Prioritise your sleep

Tracking your sleep in the Health app is not a new concept, but what the new watchOS 8 has in store is that along with the data, you can now track trends for even more health metrics to better see changes in your health over time. Know your sleeping respiratory rate by calculating your breaths per minute as you sleep.

Apple Watch Watch OS8
Choose from suggested Focus options like Mindfulness or Fitness, or create your own.

Keep your focus on what’s important

The Focus feature helps you, well, focus — filters out distractions in the form of unnecessary notifications, and lets you concentrate. Choose from suggested Focus options like Mindfulness or Fitness, or create your own. Any Focus you set will be synced across your Apple Watch, iPhone, iPad and Mac. Stepping away is a lot easier if others know you’re busy, so your Focus status will also be automatically displayed in Messages. And even if truly urgent messages try to wedge their way in, there’s still a way for you to be notified.

Smarter Outdoor Cycling feature

Did you pick upcycling during the lockdown? Even if it’s just around the neighbourhood, Apple Watch can now detect when you’re riding a bicycle and prompt you to start a cycling workout. If you’re riding an electric bike, you’ll get more accurate calculations of the calories burned. Plus, voice feedback can also help you safely track your achievements via a speaker, AirPods or Bluetooth headphones.

Track your metrics so you can develop even greater core strength, balance, posture, and flexibility.

Stretch your body with Pilates and Tai Chi

Two new workout types have been added in watchOS 8: Tai Chi and Pilates. A custom algorithm helps you track your metrics so that you can develop even greater core strength, posture, balance and flexibility, and clear your mind with a series of exercises.

Multiple timers

One of the pragmatic features that you can incorporate into your everyday routine is the Multiple Timers function. You can easily label each timer based on your routine using Siri — then call upon it with Siri. Think of a ‘laundry timer’ or ‘time-feed-your-cat timer’.

Apple Watch Watch OS8
Multiple timers come to Apple Watch in watchOS 8 and can be given a specific label using Siri.

Share your favourites with loved ones

During the seasons of lockdown, staying connected to your loved ones is more important than ever. With just a few taps on the Apple Watch, you can share photos via Messages and Mail, as well as music and playlists with the redesigned Music app. You can even add more excitement to your messages by searching through a huge library of GIFs.

Relive your favourite Memories

With the latest watchOS 8, photo highlights from your Memories and Featured Photos are now automatically synced to your Watch, and it changes every day. The Memories photo collection is also displayed in a mosaic grid, giving you a richer view of your library. You can also choose your favourite photos — of your friends, family or even yourself — in Portrait mode to use as a Watch face, giving your loved ones a starring role.

The latest watchOS 8 will be available on 21 September 2021. Find out more about how to update your Apple Watch here.

This article first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Kuala Lumpur.

Martin Teo

Martin has a bent for history and food culture, especially of the Peranakan heritage. Since the pandemic, he finds joy in plant parenting and continues to expand his collection of Philodendrons, Anthuriums, and Syngoniums. He’s now on a lookout for the elusive Philodendron Florida Beauty to add to his urban garden.