The new Apple Watch Series 8 is here and it has all the much-loved features that the Series 7 possesses, with several new additions now packed in. This headline update this year is the addition of a temperature sensor, which can be used to diagnose all sorts of health issues.
Elsewhere very little has changed, although there is a new low-power mode that will help the battery last a little bit longer as well, as a Crash Detect function, which will automatically contact the emergency services if you're in a car crash.
Here is everything you need to know about the Apple Watch Series 8:
1. A temperature sensor to tell when things are heating up
According to Apple, the menstrual cycle is an important marker of health, and many physicians consider it a vital sign. The Apple Watch Series 8 features new temperature-sensing capabilities to give women further insights into their health.
The Series 8 takes a unique approach to temperature sensing with a two-sensor design – one sensor on the back of the watch, nearest the skin, and another just under the display to reduce bias from the outside environment.
Nighttime wrist temperature can be a good indicator of overall body temperature. The sensors in Apple Watch Series 8 sample the wrist temperature during sleep every five seconds and measure changes as small as 0.1° C.
In the Health app, users can see nightly shifts in baseline temperature, which can be caused by exercise, jet lag, or even illness.
Utilizing the new temperature-sensing capabilities the Apple Watch Series 8 can provide retrospective ovulation estimates (which helps with family planning). The temperature sensors also enable improved period predictions.
2. The new low power mode will extend battery life
To keep Apple Watch wearers connected for even longer, a new Low Power Mode can extend battery life to reach up to 36 hours for Apple Watch Series 8 with an iPhone present.
This new mode temporarily disables or limits select sensors and features, including the Always-On Retina display, workout autostart, heart health notifications, and more, but keeps the core functionality of the Apple Watch working.
Perhaps the best news is that this Low Power mode will be available on Apple Watch Series 4 and newer.
3. Same design as the Apple Watch Series 7
The Apple Watch Series 7 looks stunning, and Apple saw no reason to change that with the Apple Watch Series 8.
The Apple Watch Series 8 comes in aluminium and stainless steel cases in two sizes, 41mm and 45mm, and is compatible with all existing bands. Aluminium case colours include starlight, midnight, silver, and (PRODUCT)RED, while the stainless steel case offers silver, graphite, and gold.
Apple Watch Nike and Apple Watch Hermès also debut new bands and watch faces this fall. Nike has vibrant new Sport Band colours and a new Sport Loop with the “Just Do It” logo woven right into the band.
Starting this fall, any Apple Watch user running watchOS 9 – even those without a Nike model – will be able to access all the Nike watch faces.
Apple Watch Hermès introduces two new bands: H Diagonal, which creates a sporty pattern of the Hermès H with hundreds of microperforations, and Gourmette Metal, which features a polished stainless steel chain and noir leather wrapping twice around the wrist.
A whimsical new Hermès watch face called Lucky Horse complements the new bands and celebrates the equestrian roots of the brand.
4. It comes with watchOS 9
As you'd expect, the Apple Watch Series 8 comes running the latest smartwatch software from Apple.
watchOS 9 comes with a number of new features, including the ability to turn on the FDA-cleared AFib History feature and access important information, including an estimate of how frequently their heart rhythm shows signs of AFib; the completely redesigned Compass app with more in-depth information and three distinct views; an updated Workout app which includes new in-session view; more in-depth sleep tracking, and a new medications experience that helps users manage and track their medications, vitamins, and supplements.
5. Crash Detection to save your life
When Apple Watch detects a severe car crash, the device will check in with the user and dial emergency services if they are unresponsive after a 10-second countdown. Emergency responders will receive the user’s device location, which is also shared with the user’s emergency contacts.
Apple has developed an advanced sensor-fusion algorithm that makes use of a new, more powerful gyroscope and accelerometer on the Apple Watch. To create the algorithm, data was collected from these new motion sensors at professional crash test labs.
In addition to motion data, Crash Detection uses the barometer, GPS, and the microphone on iPhone to detect whether a severe crash has taken place.
6. New connectivity features
With international roaming coming later this fall, Apple Watch wearers can stay connected to a cellular network while travelling abroad. Plans can be extended to Apple Watch from iPhone for little or no additional fee and will be available with over 30 carriers worldwide.
7. Apple Watch Series 8 price and release date
The Apple Watch Series 8 starts at £419 / $399 / AU$629 and will be available in stores beginning Friday, September 16.