The Release Candidate version of watchOS 8 is here and it will be released to the general public on Monday. After three months of beta testing, here’s everything you need to know about Apple’s newest update for Apple Watch.
What’s new with watchOS 8?
While watchOS 7 had a strong update cycle, watchOS 8 only tweaks a formula we already know from the latest software updates. This new operating system doesn’t reinvent the wheel but makes the experience of wearing the Apple Watch more delightful.
For those with the latest Apple Watch hardware, watchOS 8 brings a number of features and improvements. But it’s also the small tweaks that matter the most. Even after all these years, the Apple Watch is made for small interactions and glances, watchOS 8 helps you exactly with that.
New Watch Face with more to come
With every new iOS cycle, I get excited to learn more about new Memoji customization. With the watchOS, I always most look forward to new Watch Faces. For the past few months, I’ve been using the old ‘California’ face since Apple only introduced ‘Portraits’ in the beta cycle and it doesn’t feature any complication.
With the RC version of watchOS 8, Apple added the long-anticipated “World Time” face, which was accidentally shown during a WWDC21 session. Apart from the World Timer and Portraits faces, the new Apple Watch Series 7 will also receive its own exclusive watch faces, but they won’t be available for older models.
Unfortunately, this year’s watchOS 8 update doesn’t bring as many faces as I had expected, so it doesn’t help users to have a more personalized wearable, unlike last year’s unique “Artists” faces.
Always-on Display upgrades
One of the things that changed with watchOS 8 is that the Always-On Display allows you to see notifications without raising your wrist. When a new notification comes, you get a preview of what app it is then you can raise your wrist or just tap to read what’s new.
It’s convenient and works exactly as intended. Another big feature coming to watchOS 8 is that Apple made a new API available to developers so you’ll now see a dimmed state of a third-party app instead of the previously used blur and digital clock.
This is useful for apps like Apple Music, where you can tap the play button and the response is immediate. In the previous versions of watchOS, you’d have to tap once to wake the display, and again to actually interact.
All new Contacts, Weather, Photos, and Find My Apps