watchOS 8: New Workout types, updated Breathe app, redesigned Home app, and more
Apple has shown off watchOS 8, coming to the Apple Watch later this year. The update, available for the Apple Watch Series 3 and later, introduces a redesigned Home app, offering more convenient access to accessories and scenes when controlling HomeKit accessories.
watchOS 8 introduces two new popular workout types: Tai Chi and Pilates. These new workout types are supported by custom-built heart rate and motion algorithms to provide users with accurate metrics.
In watchOS 8, the Breathe app becomes the Mindfulness app, featuring an enhanced Breathe experience, plus a new session type, Reflect.
The update will give users even more insight into their overall wellness by tracking sleeping respiratory rate, which is the number of breaths per minute. To do this, Apple Watch uses the built-in accelerometer to measure respiratory rate while sleeping, and this information can be viewed, along with trends over time, in the Health app on iPhone. This metric is also available for developers to use with permission through HealthKit.
Other new features include the ability to combine the use of Scribble, dictation, and emoji when sending Messages using Apple Watch, Focus support from iOS 15, the ability to set multiple timers, a redesigned Music app, and other UI tweaks.