Once a year, Apple releases a new version of watchOS, the operating system used in the Apple Watch. This comes with totally free updates and news that often solve a technical problem.
The latest version is watchOS 8, which brings new features in the form of the new Mindfulness app, breathing monitoring during sleep, more ways to use the Wallet app and a new photo face in portrait mode.
watchOS 8 became generally available in late 2021 and will be the last official version until watchOS 9 arrives in the fall. For now, those who want can already try watchOS 9 beta.
Here we show you how to install the latest official watchOS on your Apple Watch.
Which Apple Watches are compatible with watchOS 8?
All Apple Watch models are compatible with watchOS 8 with the exception of the original Apple Watch, Series 1, and Series 2. This means that Apple Watch Series 3, Series 4, Series 5, Series 6, SE, and the new Series 7.
You will also need an iPhone compatible with iOS 15 to use it.
How to update your Apple Watch
To update your Apple Watch to the latest version of watchOS you will primarily need your iPhone. In addition, you will have to have Bluetooth and Wi-Fi activated on both devices. You will also need to have the watch charging and with more than 50% battery.
Pick up your phone and open the Apple Watch app. Make sure you are in the ‘My Watch’ tab (at the bottom of the screen) and tap on ‘General’. You will most likely see a red circle with the number 1 on it. This indicates that there is an update pending.
Tap on ‘Software Update’ to check for available updates and wait for it to show you. Finally, tap on ‘Install’ to download the update and agree to the terms and conditions.
The update may take a while. Wait for it to finish before unplugging it from the power. If you do, the process will be interrupted and that can damage your device. We speak from our own experience (we had to replace it with a new one).