Apple has introduced Apple Watch Series 8 and the new Apple Watch SE, which pack an Always-On Retina display, a crack-resistant front crystal, and more. They’ll run, of course, watchOS 9, which will be available to all Apple Watch users on Monday, Sept. 12.
Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer, says 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. Both models are powered by watchOS 9, which debuts new and more customizable watch faces like Lunar and Metropolitan, an enhanced Workout app, sleep stages, an AFib History feature, and an all-new Medications app.
Apple Watch Series 8 and Apple Watch SE are available to order today, with availability beginning Friday, September 16.
The Apple Watch Series 8 features boasts a new temperature-sensing capabilities that give women further insights into their health. Williams says it 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.
Sleep Tracking and more
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 in Apple Watch Series 8, users can receive retrospective ovulation estimates. These estimates appear in the Health app.
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.
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, Williams says. To create the algorithm, data was collected from these new motion sensors at professional crash test labs with common passenger cars in simulated real-world accidents, including head-on, rear-end, side-impact, and rollovers. In addition to motion data,
Crash Detection uses the barometer, GPS, and the microphone on iPhone as inputs to detect the unique patterns that can indicate whether a severe crash has taken place.
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 a severe car crash is detected, the emergency services call interface will appear on Apple Watch, as it is most likely to be in closer proximity to the user, while the call is placed through iPhone if it is in range for the best possible connection.
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.3 This new mode temporarily disables or limits select sensors and features, including the Always-On Retina display, workout autostart, heart health notifications, and more.
watchOS 9 features
Apple says the latest software, watchOS 9, 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.4
- Users who are diagnosed with AFib can turn on the FDA-cleared AFib Histor5feature and access important information, including an estimate of how frequently their heart rhythm shows signs of AFib.
- 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,
- Sleep tracking in watchOS 9 provides even more insights with the introduction of sleep stages. Apple Watch uses signals from the accelerometer and heart rate sensor to estimate when users are in REM, Core, or Deep sleep. Sleep stage data can be viewed directly on Apple Watch in the Sleep app, and users can view more detailed information in the Health app on iPhone, including interactive sleep stages charts, as well as time asleep alongside heart rate or respiratory rate, in sleep comparison charts.
- 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.
Apple Watch Series 8 Lineup
Apple Watch Series 8 will be available across a range of case finishes, colors, and band types. The smartwatch comes in aluminum and stainless steel cases in two sizes, 41mm and 45mm, and is compatible with all bands.
Aluminum case colors for Apple Watch Series 8 include starlight, midnight, silver, and (PRODUCT)RED, while the stainless steel case offers silver, graphite, and gold. With Apple Watch Studio, Apple Watch Series 8 can be paired with any available band in the same collection.
Apple Watch Nike and Apple Watch Hermès will also debut new bands and watch faces this fall.
Apple Watch SE
Upgrades in the new Apple Watch SE 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% 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.
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 beginning Friday, September 16.
- Apple Watch Series 8 starts at US$399 and Apple Watch SE starts at $249.
- Apple Watch Nike bands and Apple Watch Hermès bands will be available to order today from apple.com/store and in the Apple Store app, with availability in stores beginning Friday, September 16.
- watchOS 9 will be available for Apple Watch Series 4 and later on Monday, September 12, and requires iPhone 8 or later and iPhone SE (2nd generation) or later running iOS 16. Not all features are available on all devices and in all regions.
- Three months of Apple Fitness+ are included for customers who purchase Apple Watch Series 8, Apple Watch SE, or Apple Watch Ultra, or new purchases of Apple Watch Series 4 or later.