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watchOS 8 Brings New Watch Faces, Mindfulness App and More

September 20, 2021

Apple Watch owners can now download the latest version of software for their device, watchOS 8.

The update can be downloaded now through the companion Watch app on your iPhone by heading to General > Software Update in the My Watch portion of the app. You can also go to Settings > General > Software Update on an Apple Watch

Your watch needs to have more than 50 percent power and connected to a charger. Like most Apple Watch updates, it could take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour to complete, so be patient.

It’s compatible with the Apple Watch Series 3 and later.

Here’s a look at some of the new features in the software.

New Watch Faces and a Better Photos App

New Watch Faces and a Better Photos App

There are two new Apple Watch faces for wearers to take advantage of in watchOS 8.

A Portraits watch face brings the great photos taken from your iPhone to the Apple Watch. It will automatically recognize faces in photos and crop in to highlight the subject. You can use the Digital Crown to zoom in on the subject.

Inspired by a classic watch design, the World Time face shows the time in all 24 time zones at one time. You can see your current time in an analog or digital format.

The Photos app has also been improved with new ways to view and navigate collections. You can also view Memories and Featured photos from an iPhone. With a new Share Sheet extension, Photos can also be shared through Messages and Mail.

A New Mindfulness App

A New Mindfulness App

The Breathe app has been a staple of the Apple Watch for a number of years. But its getting even better thus year.

Now called Mindfulness, the app has added a new session type—Reflect.

In as little as a minute, you can cows on a thoughtful notion that invites a positive frame of mind. For example, a prompt might be “Recall a time recently when you felt a sense of calm. Bring that feeling into this moment.”

Breathe has also been upgraded with better visuals and tips.

Even More Improvements

Even More Improvements

Here’s a rundown of other improvements:

  • The Always-On display for the Series 5 and later Watch will now work with additional apps like Alarms, Maps, and Stopwatch. Third-party apps will also be able to take advantage of the functionality. With that, instead of the time, you can see the app screen at all times without raising your wrist.
  • The Home app has been redesigned with the ability to control accessories by too,. You can also view a live view from a HomeKit doorbell. You can also use the Intercom functionality to broadcast a message throughout a home or individual rooms.
  • Tai Chi and Pilates have been added as options in the Workout app.
  • While sleeping, your Apple Watch can track sleeping respiratory rate.
  • A Find Items and Find Devices app joins the Find People app. Find Items can help you locate anything on the Find My network like an AirTag. Find Devices can be used to find Apple devices using the same Apple ID.
  • You can share songs, albums, and playlists from the redesigned Music app using Messages and Mail.