All of Apple’s new and updated operating systems are undergoing public testing to see what is buggy and needs to be improved, and with some of you very eager for some new features here is the rundown of watchOS 8 and some reasons that might make you want to get the beta version.
Now from a very basic view, you would see the new watch face, portrait photos, being the only new addition. The watch face takes every portrait photo on your photo library on your mobile device and turns it into a watch face. You then get a few customisation features – The text with the options, classic (being a typograph style text), modern (being an Ariel style text) and rounded (being a blocky rounded edge text).
You can also move the image around placing it in the perfect position. One of my favourite features of the portrait watch face is the fact that the subject of the image overlays the text.
You also get the option of 2 complications with one being at the top and the other at the bottom.
But, if you take a deeper look into other watch faces, there are 2 other new and cool watch face features that I found that involve colours and complications. Instead of the normal colour layout, Sea foam, firey orange etc, they now have a list of colours you would find in a set of crayons like light blue, green, pink etc. You can also edit the brightness of the colour so if you want a dark grey you select the grey and then just turn the brightness down. The old colours are still there but in a new layout. They are ordered from when they were added so summer of 2020 involves three colours while Spring 2021 involves 5 different colours.
My other feature for watch faces is a time complication, this allows you to have any watch face with a complication and have the seconds or analog time showing.
Two new apps are auto-installed on your watch when you update. Items and devices. As they say in the titles they are two apps to replace Find my. The devices show you all of your devices, while items shows your airbags, once paired the item will show up on your watch. All your items will be on your apple watch.
The device app works in the same way. All your devices show up and you can scroll through and look at them. If you are in a family iCloud account you can also see the family devices too if you choose so in the app. – I believe the Find my app will be removed from your watch once the update is installed but for me, it is still there and can’t be opened.
One other App the got a do up is the breathe app, now known as the mindfulness app. The app now includes reflect which is a 1-5 minute reflection session that has different ideas for you to focus on like listening to your surroundings or a place that makes you comfortable. The breathe feature is still the same just with a more minimalist look.
The workouts app has a few new workouts, Tai chi, Pilates and Play (which they didn’t announce was new but I have never seen it before.) – Fitness+ also has a new guest trainer, Jeanette Jenkins, and a new feature called Artist spotlight which includes 4 artists, Lady Gaga, Keith Urban, Alicia Keys and Jennifer Lopez. They all have their songs playing on highlighted workouts each done by a different trainer, meaning you can have your favourite musician out of those playing in the background of those workouts.
The health app also has a few new features with sleep having more data added to it like breaths per minute, trends and more insight into your sleep. The health app also allows you to share your data with others meaning you can share your workouts with more people than just those with apple watches.
Focus mode also is included and now goes across your devices allowing you to start it on your apple watch and go to your iPhone, iPad and Mac. This can help you focus better on what you’re trying to do.
The photos app has got an update too and you can now select on your iPhone how many photos you want to transfer to your watch giving you more options for sharing and showing others.
Finally, the home app has got a great new update as well, and as most people know you can unlock your house with it. Not only that but you can share that key to others allowing them to easily get into your house without you giving them a key. You can also set scenes to be on your watch and set them to activate at certain times which could help you get to sleep without having to stand up while you’re in bed. – You can also now view cameras via your watch which will mean that you don’t have to take your phone out to see who is at the door.
If you want to get watchOS 8 betas you can go to Apple’s Website, but be warned that it is a beta program and still in the early stages so you may experience some issues.
The full system will be out later this year.