Apple has officially released watchOS 8.1 to all developers after a month of beta testing. WatchOS 8.1, unlike iOS 15.1 and other operating systems, is all about incremental updates.
The feature for detecting falls during exercises has been improved. Apple Fitness+ now supports SharePlay, allowing one subscription to invite up to 32 people to the same workout over FaceTime. It also fixes a fault where the always-on display would sometimes show the incorrect time while the wrist was down.
Because Apple has put a lot of emphasis on the SharePlay feature for iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and Mac users, watchOS 8.1 feels a little behind the times, despite the fact that it brings:
- Support for COVID-19 vaccination cards in Apple Wallet, allowing you to present verified vaccination information;
- Fitness+ includes SharePlay, which allows customers to invite up to 32 others to a FaceTime conversation to train together.
- When a user’s wrist is down, Always On may not accurately display the time.
- WatchOS 8, on the other hand, which was released a month ago, includes a slew of new capabilities. For example, there’s a new Weather app, two new Watch Faces, and new built-in apps that take advantage of the Apple Watch Series 5, Series 6, and Series 7’s always-on display.
Here’s what else is with watchOS 8:
- There’s a new version of the Breathe app, now called Mindfulness;
- Respiratory rate is now measured during sleep tracking;
- Photos app overhauled with featured highlights and memories;
- Photos can now be shared from the watch with Messages and Mail on watchOS 8;
- Scribble now lets you include emoji in handwritten messages;
- App shelf in iMessage includes image search and quick access to photos;
- Find My now includes items (including AirTags);
- Weather includes next hour precipitation;
- Apple Watch can do multiple timers for the first time;
- Tips is now available on the Apple Watch;
- Music can be shared from Apple Watch over Messages.
You can get the update right now by going to General > Software Update in the My Watch section of the companion Watch app on your iPhone. On an Apple Watch, you may also navigate to Settings > General > Software Update.
Your watch must have a charge of at least 50% and be connected to a charger. It could take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour to complete, like with most Apple Watch updates, so be patient.
It works with Apple Watch Series 3 and subsequent models.