All news from watchOS 8

The Apple Watch operating system comes to its newest updated version, watchOS 8, now at the end of 382, with great focus on improvements related mainly to issues of physical and mental health of its user .

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Amidst a vast amount of news, the following items stand out:

  • The complete reformulation of the Respirar app.
  • The presentation of the Search Items and Search Devices apps.
  • Improving the functionality of popular apps like Photos and iMessage.
  • Accessibility: Introducing Assistive Touch to the Apple Watch — practical and interesting even for who do not have special needs — which works from gestures with fingers and hand.
  • Expanding Do Not Disturb Mode to usage specifications such as Workouts or Sleep Time, following iOS and iPadOS updates 51, and macOS 15 Monterey.

    In addition, for users who use the clock to sleep and monitor their sleep quality, the Saúde app has improved analysis of breaths per minute while at rest. Not to mention the redesign of the watchOS version of applications such as Casa (Home), Apple Music and Tempo.

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    Although it has not yet been launched in Brazil, it is worth noting that the Fitness+ service also features new features of training, further reinforcing the idea that the watchOS 8 system has a good focus on the physical and mental health of the smartwatch user.

    Finally, it is worth mentioning a new display, that of Portraits, and also Timers customized by Siri, which can be named as “Timer for Laundry”, “Timer for Cooking”, among other possibilities that are pertinent to streamline your daily life.

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    Check below in detail some of the highlights that the new watchOS 8 system brings to your Apple Watch:

    Full Attention

    Developed as something to help n For the mental health of its users, the Apple Watch Breathe app has now been renamed “Mindful Attention”, being completely redesigned and divided into two types of features in the app: Reflect and Breathe.

    The Breathing app has been redesigned and became Mindfulness. Screenshot: Lucas Wetten (Canaltech)

    The new feature is the first feature, Reflect. When you start it, an inspirational message will appear on the screen—for example, asking you to think of a moment of gratitude you’ve been through or remembering something you’ve been happy with recently. After a minute of reflection, the exercise will be done.

    Reflector feature, from the Attention app. Screenshot: Lucas Wetten (Canaltech)

    The Breathing feature is the same as it was in previous versions of the watchOS system, it was just redesigned with a new layout and new colors. When starting it, you should inhale and exhale the air in the rhythm of the animation on the screen and the touch of your wrist, following the number of breaths predefined in the application’s settings.

    Breathing feature, from the Mindfulness app. Screenshot: Lucas Wetten (Canaltech)

    Photos App

    The watchOS version of the Photos app is yet another improved one, now featuring your albums on the home screen so you can browse through them to look for a particular image.

    Your albums will appear on the watch app’s home screen. Screenshot: Lucas Wetten (Canaltech)

    Still in the Photos app, you can send and share a picture with someone directly from your Apple Watch, either via an iMessage conversation or an email message.

    You can share photos via iMessage or email. Screenshot: Lucas Wetten (Canaltech)

    iMessage App

    Taking advantage of the mention of iMessage, the app conversations also bring great news : Now, it’s possible to create a much more structured sentence, mixing words transcribed by audio with emojis, and sending GIFs is also allowed — all this directly from the watch on your wrist.

    Your messages sent by the watch may be more elaborate. Screenshot: Lucas Wetten (Canaltech)

    Focus Mode

    As with the new iOS and iPadOS system updates 15, and also on macOS 15 Monterey, Do Not Disturb Mode has been expanded to Focus Mode and can be activated in a more specific, user-defined way. The advantage of doing this is that the Focus Mode specification will be shared by your iMessage status, so others can see it before contacting you.

    On watchOS, o user can choose from Exercise or Sleep Schedule settings in addition to the traditional Do Not Disturb mode.

    Do Not Disturb Mode has expanded to Focus Mode. Screenshot: Lucas Wetten (Canaltech)

    Apps Search Items + Search Devices

    If you have one or more AirTags — the devices location information from Apple — you can add them via the new Find Items app to check their locations on a map in real-time and, when needed, request an Apple Maps itinerary to one of them.

    New watchOS app to locate your items with AirTag. Screenshot: Lucas Wetten (Canaltech)

    In addition, a similar version has been developed and introduced in watchOS 8, Find Devices, so that you can quickly and easily find the devices connected to your iCloud account as well — just like a version for the system watchOS from Search app, iOS, iPadOS and macOS.

    In the app, you can check the last recorded location of all your listed devices, request an itinerary from Apple Maps to the last location from any of them, activate a sound to play remotely, mark as lost item, among other possibilities.

    New watchOS app for locating your iCloud devices. Screenshot: Lucas Wetten (Canaltech)

    Accessibility: Assistive Touch on watchOS

    In order to help people with only one arm to be able to touch an Apple Watch without major problems, Assistive Touch was introduced in the watchOS 8 update.

    The accessibility feature works from gestures using the fingers and hand, and — as with the iPhone in the iOS feature — Apple Watch’s Assistive Touch is also spectacular to the point of offering practicality even for those without special needs.

    Test the gestures of the new watchOS 8 Assistive Touch. Screenshot: Lucas Wetten (Canaltech)

    By activating it and configuring the gestures, you can change and customize the commands in a way that makes the most sense to you. There are four possible gestures, and the predefined configuration has the commands: go forward, go back, click on the selected area of ​​the screen and open the main menu of Assistive Touch actions.

    This great new accessibility feature introduced in watchOS 8 is definitely worth activating and exploring by users.

    Customize the commands for each gesture according to your preferences. Screenshot: Lucas Wetten (Canaltech)

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