Apple Introduces Apple Watch Series 8

Which offers groundbreaking technology, performance, health, and important safety innovations.

Users who utilize the new temperature-sensing capabilities in Apple Watch Series 8 can receive retrospective ovulation estimates and improved period predictions, which can be helpful for family planning. (Image: Courtesy of Apple)

Apple introduced Apple Watch Series 8 and the new Apple Watch SE, which bring groundbreaking technology and performance, and important safety innovations to the two best-selling smartwatches. Apple Watch Series 8 features the beloved design of the Apple Watch, including a large, always-on retina display and a strong crack-resistant front crystal. With all-day 18-hour battery life, Apple Watch Series 8 builds on best-in-class health and safety features like the ECG app and fall detection by introducing temperature-sensing capabilities, retrospective ovulation estimates, crash detection, and international roaming. The new Apple Watch SE delivers the core Apple Watch experience, including Activity tracking, high and low heart rate notifications, and emergency SOS, as well as the new crash detection feature and a completely redesigned back case that perfectly matches the three classic case finishes, all at a more affordable price of $249 (US). Both models are powered by watchOS 9, introducing new and more customizable watch faces like Lunar and Metropolitan, an enhanced workout app, sleep stages, a first-of-its-kind AFib history feature, and an all-new medications app.

“We hear from customers how Apple Watch helps them stay connected with loved ones, be more active, and live healthier lives,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s Chief Operating Officer. “Apple Watch Series 8 reinforces our commitment in these areas with the addition of pioneering technology, while Apple Watch SE brings advanced core features at a new starting price. Powered by watchOS 9, the best smartwatches deliver more capabilities than ever before.”

Wrist Temperature Sensing for Women’s Health

The menstrual cycle is an important marker of health, and many physicians consider it a vital sign. Apple Watch Series 8 features innovative new temperature-sensing capabilities that give women further insights into their health, designed with the same privacy protections as with all other health data. Utilizing the new temperature-sensing capabilities in Apple Watch Series 8, users can receive retrospective ovulation estimates. Knowing when ovulation has occurred can be helpful for family planning, and Apple Watch Series 8 makes it easy and convenient by providing these estimates in the Health app. Temperature sensing also enables improved period predictions.

Additionally, with iOS 16 and watchOS 9, all cycle tracking users can now receive a notification if their logged cycle history shows a possible deviation, such as irregular, infrequent, or prolonged periods, and persistent spotting, which can be symptoms of underlying health conditions.

Apple Watch 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 —reducing bias from the outside environment, reports Apple. 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.

Crash Detection

To enable crash detection, Apple developed an advanced sensor-fusion algorithm that leverages a new, more powerful gyroscope and accelerometer on Apple Watch, which now has the highest dynamic range accelerometer in any smartwatch.

Read more: Apple Could Soon Launch AR/VR Headset with 8K Display

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. When combined, crash detection on Apple Watch and iPhone work seamlessly to get users help efficiently.

Low-Power Mode

To keep users 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 iPhone present. This new mode temporarily disables or limits select sensors and features, including the always-on retina display, workout autostarts, heart health notifications, and more.

watchOS9

The latest software brings new features and enhanced experiences to the world’s leading wearable operating system:

  • With international roaming coming later this fall, users can stay connected to a cellular network while traveling 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.
  • Users who are diagnosed with AFib can 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, providing deeper insights into their condition. Users will receive notifications with an estimate from the previous week and also have access to a detailed history in the Health app on iPhone, including lifestyle factors that may influence AFib, like sleep, alcohol consumption, and exercise.
  • The completely redesigned Compass app in watchOS 9 surfaces more in-depth information and three distinct views. The app displays a new hybrid view that simultaneously shows both an analog compass dial and a digital view. Turning the Digital Crown reveals an additional view that includes latitude, longitude, elevation, and incline, as well as an orienteering view showing Compass Waypoints and Backtrack.
  • The Workout app in watchOS 9 includes new in-session views, such as segments, splits, and elevation that offer more precise workout data. Users can also improve their training with advanced workout experiences, including heart rate zones, custom workouts, pacer, and, coming later this year, race route.
  • Sleep tracking in watchOS 9 provides even more insights with the introduction of sleep stages.
  • The new medications experience on Apple Watch and iPhone helps users manage and track their medications, vitamins, and supplements, allowing them to create a medications list, set up schedules and reminders, and view information on their medications in the Health app.

AppleWatch SE

The new Apple Watch SE delivers advanced features at a new low price and is a great way for users to start their Apple Watch journey, use it with Family Setup, or gift to their loved ones. Powerful upgrades include the S8 SiP advanced dual-core processor, the same processor that is in Apple Watch Series 8 and Apple Watch Ultra, making it 20 percent faster than the previous generation, along with crash detection and international roaming.

Apple Watch SE maintains the same case design but features a redesigned matching back case made of a nylon composite material, making it lighter than ever. With watchOS 9, Apple Watch SE users can enjoy the benefits of the new Compass app in addition to the enhanced fitness and wellness features. Apple Watch SE is available in 40mm and 44mm aluminum cases, in midnight, starlight, and silver finishes, and is compatible with all bands.

AppleWatch and the Environment

Apple Watch Series 8 and Apple Watch SE are designed to minimize their impact on the environment. Both models are made with 100 percent recycled aluminum in the case, 100 percent recycled tungsten in the Taptic Engine, and 100 percent recycled rare earth elements in all magnets. In a first for Apple Watch, both models feature 100 percent recycled gold — in the plating of multiple printed circuit boards on the Apple Watch Series 8, and in the plating of the SiP on the new Apple Watch SE. Both models are free of mercury, BFRs, PVC, and beryllium. No Apple Watch packaging uses outer plastic wrap, and 94 percent or more of the packaging is fiber-based, bringing Apple closer to its goal of completely removing plastic from its packaging by 2025.

Privacy

Privacy is fundamental in the design and development of all of Apple’s features. When a user’s iPhone is locked with a passcode, Touch ID, or Face ID, all of their health and fitness data in the Health app — other than Medical ID — is encrypted. Any health data backed up to iCloud is encrypted both in transit and on Apple servers. When using iOS and watchOS with the default two-factor authentication and a passcode, Health app data synced to iCloud is encrypted end-to-end, meaning that Apple does not have the key to decrypt the data and therefore cannot read it.

Pricing and Availability

Customers in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, Japan, the UAE, the UK, the US, and more than 40 other countries and regions can order Apple Watch Series 8 and Apple Watch SE today, with availability in stores.

Apple Watch Series 8 starts at $399 (US) and Apple Watch SE starts at $249 (US).

Jürgen Thalmayer
October 13, 2022

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