Apple announced specifics about watchOS 8 during the opening keynote of Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2021. The Teach giant is debuting a new Mindfulness app, an extension of the Breathe app that nags you to breathe throughout the day. It's adding new animations and other features to help you relax. The Fitness app is getting more workout types for tai chi and pilates. The Apple Watch's Health app will explicitly track your respiratory rate while sleeping and notify you if it's outside of your normal patterns.
WatchOS 8 will be gaining some of the new features coming in iOS 15, including the new focus mode that lets you choose apps or contacts to push notifications to you in specific contexts. Apple says that the Series 6 watch will get support for car key support, utilizing its UWB radio. You'll also be able to use your watch to find other Apple devices, such as AirTags.
The Home app, which lets you control smart home gadgets from the Apple Watch, is getting redesigned for watchOS 8, with more shortcuts to commonly used devices and the ability to view camera feeds from security cameras.
More native apps will be able to take advantage of the Apple Watch's always-on display, including Maps, Mindfulness, Now Playing, Phone, Podcasts, Stopwatch, Timers, and Voice Memos. Apple says it is providing an API for third-party apps to use it as well.