The Latest Apple Watch Functionality Revealed

Apple Watch Series 8 is here, and it’s bringing with it plenty of new features. Some of the most important is inside, including a long-rumored skin temperature sensor, a low-power mode that can double the battery life, and crash detection.

It also has a redesigned Digital Crown that’s now more of a volume control knob than an interface for Siri. But, of course, apple could also repurpose the Digital Crown in other devices, like its rumored VR headset.

Health-focused improvements

Each generation of the Apple Watch includes features aimed at helping you stay active and healthy. That includes tracking your heart rate, monitoring your calories burned, and displaying daily progress on the Activity Rings in the Health app.

The latest Apple Watch adds several new health-focused features to its fitness tracker, one of the most notable being a heart rate variability alert. HRV is a key metric that can indicate changes in the body, such as illness or intense workouts.

You can engage the feature by going to Health & Exercise in the Health app and selecting Heart Rate Variability. You’ll be asked to choose a threshold for the alert, and your Watch will only show you an alert when it feels that your heart rate has dropped below or risen above that level.

Always-On Display

The Apple Watch’s OLED ultra-low power temperature poly-silicon and oxide display is designed always to be on, even if you wear it for an extended time without touching it or raising your wrist. It dims when your wrist is down and brightens up again when you raise your wrist, preserving battery life.

Prominent Haptic Tap

The Apple Watch isn’t the first smartwatch to use haptics, but it does an excellent job of them. For example, it can detect you getting a message and pre-warm you with a gentle haptic tap before the standard alert comes through.

It’s a great way to let you know that something is happening, and it’ll likely come in handy when you need it most. For example, you can program the number of haptic vibrations to trigger and choose whether they’re louder or softer.

Watch Faces

Apple’s watch faces have been updated with some exciting new options. The Metropolitan, a sleek analog clock with customizable numerals, and Playtime, which turns the numbers into playful characters, are both fantastic.


If you’re a fan of the stars, Apple’s new Lunar watch face offers a full breakdown of the moon phase and zodiac signs. It’s an exciting addition to the app’s various astronomy-themed Watch faces.


With WatchOS 9, Apple has added a new compass app to the Watch that makes it easier than ever to navigate outdoors. This app gives you a bird’s-eye view of your location, and you can even rotate the Digital Crown for a more detailed view.

Crash Detection

If you wear the Apple Watch and fall, it can detect falls automatically and call emergency services for you. This is a welcome feature for many people, especially those who don’t own an iPhone or need better mobility.

About Dominic E.

Film Student and Full-time Medical Writer forĀ