These are the new watchOS 8 features you need to try right now

The latest Apple Watch update has several app redesigns and new features you won’t want to miss.

WatchOS 8 is loaded with new features, better accessibility, and sleek redesigns of your everyday apps. Here are 11 reasons to download Apple’s newest Apple Watch software right now.

1. Portrait watch faces

WatchOS 8 brings rotating portrait pictures to your watch face. When picking a portrait photo from your iPhone, your Apple Watch can intelligently highlight faces and blur the background to make them pop. You can select up to 24 portraits to rotate through.

2. Better messaging tools

WatchOS8 now brings a full QWERTY keyboard and QuickPath that allows you to slide your finger from one character to the next. You can also easily bounce back and forth between dictation, the scribble tool, and emojis, adding a bit more flexibility to sending texts on your watch.

And when dictation doesn’t work perfectly you can now use the Apple Watch’s Digital Crown to quickly scroll to typos and correct them.

3. Redesigned Photos app

Your Photos app will now look a bit similar to the layout on your phone. The app has a new home page that lets you scroll through your set albums.

And when you tap on an album, photos will be displayed in a mosaic grid to give the collection a unique look, allowing you to see all your photos at the same time.

4. Focus Mode

Focus Mode is a new tool for managing notifications. You can create a “Focus” for work, personal time, sleep, etc..., and customize it so only certain contacts or apps are allowed to push through notifications.

Setting up a Focus is going to be easier on your phone, but the watch app will be a great way to swap between Focuses on the go.

5. Contacts

It’s been a long time coming, but you can finally look at contacts on your Apple Watch. The new Contacts app adds the same tool that your iPhone has — you can add, edit, share and delete contacts, send texts or make phone calls.

6. Mindfulness

Apple’s Breathe app has been reimagined and is now called Mindfulness.

The app includes the breathing exercises previously in Breathe, now with more advanced and fluid animations. It also has Reflect sessions, which ask you to focus on certain meditative prompts or simple relaxing exercises for a set period of time.

7. Redesigned Home app

The Home app has been redesigned to give users faster access to all of their digital home accessories like light controls, locks, and cameras. If you have a HomeKit-enabled camera at your front door, you can now view it through your watch.

Apple also added an intercom system to the app so you can send messages to every Homepod in your home.

8. More Wallet features

With watchOS 8, you can add so many more digital passes to your wallet, including hotel, home, and work keys. If you’ve got a digital lock system, you can now unlock your doors with just a couple of taps on your watch.

If you have a compatible car, you can also unlock and start your car from your watch after a quick setup.

9. Find your other Apple devices

The Apple Watch has gained some great tracking features with watchOS 8 previously only available on iPhone and iPad.

With the Find Devices app, you can track any Apple device, including a Mac, iPhone, iPad, or any AirPods connected to your Apple account. The app will show you the last location the device was online. You can also set this up to work with AirTags.

10. Pilates and tai chi

Apple is adding two new exercises to your watch with Pilates and tai chi. Both workout types are supported with heart rate and motion algorithms to provide you with accurate biometric data.

11. Better tracking for cyclists

Apple Watch can now detect and track bike workouts more easily. Starting a cycling workout now has improved motion tracking, and the workout will automatically pause and start again if you take a break.

There’s also a specific tracking feature for electronic bikes with more accurate, e-bike-specific tracking algorithms.

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