Along with iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 Beta 2, Apple also released the watchOS 8 Beta 2 to developers today. The second beta of watchOS 8 comes nearly fifteen days after the WWDC 2021 keynote. The second beta of the watchOS 8 is strictly meant for developers as it has a number of bugs and issues due to which it is not stable enough for daily use.
Since Apple has not started the watchOS 8 public beta program yet, the second iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 beta are only available for registered Apple developers. The public beta of watchOS 8 will be available in July.
watchOS 8 builds on already feature-rich watchOS 7. Apple has added features that focus more on mental health, with the Mindfulness app that helps you focus better. Other features include new tools for communication in Messages, a one-stop control center for HomeKit devices, and more.
watchOS 8 is compatible with all of the Apple Watch models that watchOS 7 supported. This means you can use these features on Apple Watch models from Apple Watch Series 3 all the way to the latest Apple Watch Series 6.
watchOS 8 Features
Apple introduced the Breath with watchOS 3. It lets you meditate and relieve stress without the need of going to meditation centers. With watchOS 8, Apple is stepping up the game by the introduction of the new Mindfulness app that will replace the existing Breath app.
Mindfulness app has new features that help you focus better. The new addition called Reflect encourages you to take one minute from your busy schedule and prompts users to create a positive frame of mind. Apple says that during the Reflect session, a user can recall the things they’re grateful for or think of something that soothes their mind. It also has new animations that urgers user to open the Mindfulness app at least once every day.
Respiratory Rate Tracking While Sleeping
In another effort to improve user’s quality of sleep, Apple has introduced the respiratory rate tracking feature with watchOS 8.
It shows how many breaths you’re taking during sleep, the range of it, and even the daily average. The Health app on iPhone now has a label that shows the ‘Trend,’ which basically tells you whether you’re having a ‘Consistent’ number of breaths throughout your sleep or not. It may also show ‘Inconsistent’ if you’re having many disturbances during your sleep.
Control HomeKit Devices With New Home App for Apple Watch
One of the major updates that Apple has included in the watchOS 8 is the new Home app for Apple Watch. Your Apple Watch can now suggest actions based on the devices around you. For example, if you’re near your doorbell, and if you pull up your Apple Watch, the Home app will show a live feed of your doorbell camera, as well as allow you to talk to the person standing outside.
Similarly, watchOS 8 can also suggest you to perform actions depending upon the time of the day. For example, turning off lights when it is Bed Time, among others. The new watchOS 8 Home app also features a direct button for HomePod’s Intercom feature.