30 June 2021
At this year's WWDC virtual keynote, Apple took wraps off the new operating system versions. We have already covered what's new with iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS Monterey. It is now time to talk about watchOS 8 and tvOS 15 that will be released for Apple Watch and Apple TV respectively later this year.
watchOS 8 supports all the new Wallet app changes that Apple talked about during the iOS 15 presentations. The Apple Watch will support adding keys for hotels, homes, and offices. It will also let users add their driver's license or state ID to the Wallet app which can then be used as a Digitial ID at select TSA checkpoints.
For those who use Apple Watch as a way to control their smart home devices, Apple has released a redesigned Home app with watchOS 8. You will be able to control accessories using the app but most importantly, it will show quick access to scenes and accessories relevant to a particular moment. If you have a HomeKit-enabled camera installed, you will be able to check who is at the doorstep directly on your smartwatch. There is now support for Intercom so that users can broadcast messages to HomePod/HomePod Mini quickly and conveniently.
We know that workouts are an integral part of the whole Apple Watch package. The team has now added two new workout types named Tai Chi and Pilates. Apple says these workouts will be beneficial for both physical fitness and mindful movement. watchOS 8 also brings an app called Mindfulness which basically replaces the Breathe app. The new version comes with a new session called Reflect that offers a mindful intention to focus on for as little as one minute that can be done anywhere and at any time.
Health insights on Apple Watch will now show Sleeping Respiratory Rate. It will basically show the number of breaths per minute while you were sleeping. Other noteworthy features include support for portrait watch faces and photos; the ability to use scribble, emoji, and dictations in a single message; and support for Focus mode. The all-new watchOS 8 will be available for Apple Watch 3 or later.
tvOS 15 is the newest operating system that will power Apple TV devices. It brings the ability to use HomePod mini as the default speaker for Apple TV. This functionality was previously limited to the main HomePod speaker. Spatial Audio can now be experienced on the devices for select movies and TV shows. However, you will need to have AirPods Pro or AirPods Max to be able to experience that.
The support for SharePlay and Shared with You is available on tvOS 15 as well. The team has finally added "Hey Siri" integration so that you can play your favorite content using voice commands.