Apple debuts watchOS 8, coming to the Apple Watch in the fall

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Apple has announced the upcoming operating system update to the Apple Watch called watchOS 8.

Apple held its WWDC keynote address on Monday and revealed its latest operating system updates to all of its platforms. Many features focus on social experiences, including those added to watchOS 8.

"Apple Watch is the most loved watch in the world, keeping users healthy, active, and connected," said Kevin Lynch, Apple's vice president of Technology. "With watchOS 8, we're bringing more convenient access to places users live, work, and visit with significant updates to Home and Wallet, expanding support for both physical and mental well-being, and enabling richer personal connections with the new Portraits face and updates to Messages."

Apple Watch app updates

Health and mindfulness

The Breath app is turning into the Mindfulness app on Apple Watch. Also, Apple added a new animation to the Breath screen during the exercise.

Mindfulness app with Breathe
Mindfulness app with Breathe

A new session called "Reflect" is also included in the Mindfulness app. Each Reflect session welcomes the user with a thoughtful notion to consider during the meditative practice.

The Sleep app now tracks respiratory rate. This health metric will aid users in determining the quality of a night's sleep.

Workouts and Fitness+

Apple has added two new workouts to the Fitness app — Tai Chi and Pilates. These workouts are also featured in new Apple Fitness+ sessions available to users this fall.

Apple says these new workout types are accompanied by custom-built heart rate and motion algorithms to provide users with accurate metrics.

Photos and Portrait watch face

Apple added a new Portrait watch face in watchOS 8
Apple added a new Portrait watch face in watchOS 8

The Photos app has a new iPhone-like design with a mosaic layout, memories, and featured photos. Users can navigate the app with the Digital Crown and select images with a tap. The share sheet in Photos is also improved, enabling users to share an image via iMessage or Mail.

The Portrait watch face uses the depth information found in portrait photos to create a layered effect. The data falls around the person's image to highlight the subject.

Messages and Contacts

When sending a message, you'll be able to control the cursor with the Digital Crown. Apple has also added a gif search

within the Messages app.

The Contacts app on Apple Watch enables users to browse, add, and edit contacts right from the wrist.

Home app

Accessories and scenes are more accessible than ever with suggested scenes and a per-room control. Users will be able to view HomeKit connected cameras on their wrist.

The Intercom function is now clearly displayed at the top of the app. Users can send Intercoms to specific rooms or HomePods.

Follow all the details of WWDC 2021 with the comprehensive AppleInsider coverage of the whole week-long event from June 7 through June 11, including details of all the new launches and updates.

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