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watchOS 8 announced at WWDC 2021: Apple's wearable takes another leap

watchOS 8 at WWDC 2021
(Image credit: Apple)

watchOS 8 was featured onstage at WWDC 2021 following a significant update on new features from Apple Health. 

Apple Watch is easily the most popular smartwatch in the world and the watchOS 8 update reflects how mature Apple's wearable operating system is at this point with a number of small quality of life enhancements.

watchOS 8 is enhancing a number of the calming or mindfulness features with updates to Breathe and a new Reflect feature. watchOS 8 is adding Respiratory Rate to your sleep tracking features. watchOS 8 adds Tai Chi and Pilates as workout types. 

Apple Fitness Plus is adding a new Artist Playlist series for your workouts along with a series of new updates. 

watchOS 8 at WWDC 2021

(Image credit: Apple)

The face watchface is already the most popular and it is getting a massive update that adds layers to your photos for a more 3D look. The Photos app on Apple Watch is getting an update similar to what is seen in iOS 15 with memories, a new collage look and support for sharing photos directly from the watch. 

Messages is getting an update as well with the ability to dictate, scribble or add emojis in your message from the same view. 

That was the extent of the updates for watchOS 8 right now, but we suspect that more could be coming when the Apple Watch 7 is announced later this year.

Sean Riley

Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more.  Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.