New watch faces, Focus mode and more: watchOS 8 is now available

New watch faces, Focus mode and more: watchOS 8 is now available
Apple released iOS15 today and now we can tell you that watchOS 8 is now available for the Apple Watch Series 3 and later. One of the most eagerly awaited features for iOS 15 is coming to the Apple Watch with the update. The Focus mode allows you to reduce distractions by deciding which notifications from apps and contacts you want to block during certain activities.

The eagerly-awaited Focus feature for iOS 15 is now on the Apple Watch

When it comes to Focus, the Apple Watch will automatically align with the settings you created using the Focus mode on iOS, iPadOS, and macOS. There is now support for multiple timers and users can create labels for timers using Siri. The redesigned Music app allows you to find and listen to music and radio all in the same place. And users can share tunes, albums, and playlists in the Music app through Messages and Mail.

Digital keys are coming to the Wallet app to make it easier to unlock your front door, your office, and a hotel room without having to dig into your pockets for physical keys. Eventually, you might be able to digitally store your Drivers License in the Apple Watch's Wallet. WatchOS 8 adds the Find My app and the Contacts app. Users can now send GIFs via Messages.

The Find My app helps you find items using the Apple AirTags, find missing Apple products using the Devices setting and be alerted if you leave your item, device, or AirTag behind. There is now support for larger text in Settings, and you can compose a message or reply to one using scribble, dictation, and emoji all from the same screen. And support for #images in Messages allows you to search for a GIF or select the one you've used recently.

With the new OS build, the user's respiratory rate is measured by the Apple Watch during sleep. The results will be analyzed in the Health app and the user will be notified if a trend has been detected. If you do Tai Chi and Pilates, the watch will now give you more accurate calorie information, and the Breathe feature is now called Mindfulness; the app will now include an enhanced Breathe experience and a new Reflect session.

Improvements to the Weather app will deliver a notification when precipitation like rain or snow is about to begin or end. Severe weather notifications alert you about potentially dangerous events including tornadoes, winter storms, flash floods, and more. Users can see the intensity of rain by viewing a chart.

New watch faces are coming including the World Time face

There are some new watch faces including one that this writer is looking forward to, a World Time face that tracks the time in 24 different time zones at once. This face is available for those sporting an Apple Watch Series 4 or higher. Also available to those using the Apple Watch Series 4 or higher is a Portraits watch face "that uses segmentation data from portrait photos taken on iPhone to create an immersive, multi-layered face."

Thanks to the Ultra Wideband (UWB) chip in Apple Watch 6 and Apple Watch 7, those two timepieces will be able to unlock, lock, and even start a compatible vehicle as you move close to it. The remote keyless entry functions on your car keys will allow you to unlock, lock, honk the horn, preheat the car- or open the trunk.

To install the update open the Watch app on your iPhone and go to Control > Software Update. follow the directions to download and install watchOS 8. The timepiece must be near a Wi-Fi-powered iPhone and must be sitting in its dock with at least 50% of battery life remaining. Do not remove it from the charger until the update is complete.
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