Apple will this year launch WatchOS 8 for its Apple Watch. Ahead of the final rollout, the company has started rolling out the first public beta for WatchOS 8. WatchOS 8 will run on all Apple Watches from Series 3 and later. Those who want to preview the new features coming to iOS 15 and WatchOS 8 can download the update from the Apple Watch’s Settings app. The WatchOS 8 will bring new Watch faces, more workout modes, more flexible messaging tools, a new portrait watch face, and more features to your Apple Watch. WatchOS 8 also brings the much sought-after accessibility feature AssistiveTouch to the Apple Watch.
Using any photo taken on the portrait mode on the iPhone, users can now add those portraits as a watch face. The watch uses segmentation data from the photo to separate the foreground from the background. The time appears just behind the head of your subject and it pops in and out too if you raise your wrist or fidget with the Digital Crown. Further, WatchOS 8 will bring AssistiveTouch to the Apple Watch. This allows users to control the Apple Watch with just arm. The feature allows the Apple Watch to detect hand movements like pinching or clenching actions. Users don’t need to be able to touch the screen to interact with the watch with AssistiveTouch.
WatchOS 8 will also bring better messaging tools. When users go to send a message, users will be able to use the scribble tool, emoji selector, or the dictation option - all from the same screen. Further, if users go to dictate a message but find out that it makes an error in the transcription, users will now be able to select the word and use the Digital Crown to make corrections.
Apple will finally bring the Contacts app so users can edit, add, browse, and share without pulling out their phone. Apple has also expanded its Find My App into two new items - Find Items and Find Devices. There are two new workout modes - Pilates and Tai Chi. The Breathe app has been moved into a new Mindfulness app with some new animations and features.
In order to test Apple’s WatchOS 8, users need to first sign up for Apple’s beta testing program that is free to join. Then, users need to install the proper certificate from Apple’s public beta wesite, and then they can go ahead with the OTA download. In order to download the WatchOS 8 beta, users need to go into the Settings > General > Software Update. Then they need to wait for WatchOS 8 public beta prompt to appear. Tap the prompt to download and install the beta on your device.
Users can also download the WatchOS 8 beta from their iPhones. They need to go into the Apple Watch App > Tap My Watch > General > Software Update > Download and Install > Enter iPhone passcode > Agree > Install.