Apple Watch Series 5Source: iMore

What you need to know

  • Apple announced watchOS 8 earlier today.
  • One of the new features sees Apple expand support for the Always-On screen to new apps.

Apple's WWDC21 event is now underway and we're digesting the news that came out of today's opening keynote. Now that the wraps have been taken off watchOS 8 we're learning more about what we can expect when the update lands later this year, with some surprising new features coming.

Hidden at the bottom of an Apple Newsroom post is the news that Apple is expanding support for the Always-On display to new apps. Many of which I thought already had it!

Apple is also going to make it easier for developers to take advantage of the Always-On display as well, with a new Always-On API coming for third-party apps.

In watchOS 8, more Apple Watch apps support the Always-On display, including Maps, Mindfulness, Now Playing, Phone, Podcasts, Stopwatch, Timers, Voice Memos, and others. watchOS 8 is also making it easier for developers to keep their apps timely and relevant with a new Always-On API for third-party apps.

The new improvements and APIs will be available to the world when watchOS 8 ships later this fall. The early beta is already in the hands of developers while those on the public beta program will be able to get in on the fun starting next month. As always, Id suggest leaving well alone unless you have a spare Apple Watch to test watchOS 8 on. The early betas are notoriously buggy and you can't downgrade to watchOS 7 once watchOS 8 is installed.

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