It has been eight years since the first Apple Watch edition was launched, and despite many skeptics, it has become the world’s best-selling smartwatch. Moreover, it is still the best and most complete watch on the market. At least we can also say this for the new Apple Watch Series 8. It does everything the same as its predecessor, the Series 7, just a little better.
Tech giant Apple, launched its series of gadgets in its latest event last month. With iPhone 14 and 14 Pro, they have also launched a new Apple watch series as they always do. And let’s see what Apple Watch Series 8 has to offer.
No Major Upgrade
Admittedly, it is getting longer and longer between the big news on the Apple Watch front. Last year’s top model, the Series 7, brought little new to the table. It came with a slightly larger and better screen as well as faster charging via USB-C.
The newcomer, Series 8, does not offer much new either. Under the hood is a brand new S8 chip, which ensures top performance – but so did the S7 chip on the previous edition.
The two most important novelties this year are a temperature sensor and crash detection.
The watch also comes with a new power-saving mode, but it’s available on all Apple watches from Series 4 and up, via the new watchOS 9 updates.
The Apple Watch Series 8 comes in two sizes, 41 millimeters or 45 millimeters, in either aluminum or stainless steel. The aluminum version is available in midnight, starburst, silver, or red, while the more solid stainless-steel version comes in silver, graphite, or gold.
Apple Watch Series 8 Can Measure Body Temperature
In recent years, Apple has stepped up its investment in women’s health. In 2019, they introduced an app to track your menstrual cycle. The app uses your data to estimate and notify you that your next period or ovulation period is about to start.
The new temperature gauge for the Apple Watch expands the concept even further. Now the Apple watch should be able to tell you when ovulation has taken place.
The solution consists of two temperature sensors, one under the screen and one on the underside of the watch. This is to limit disturbances from the external environment and obtain a more accurate measurement of the wrist temperature.
The sensors check the temperature on the wrist every five seconds and measure changes down to 0.1 degrees Celsius.
“In the Health app, users can see nightly changes in basal temperature that can be caused by exercise, jet lag, or even illness,” writes Apple in the press release. So, you don’t have to be a woman to use it.
It Can Detect Ovulation
According to Apple, the main purpose is to provide greater insight into women’s health. Basal body temperature is used to find the time of ovulation.
According to gynecologists, the temperature varies throughout the cycle. It rises soon after ovulation has taken place, and will remain somewhat higher for at least ten days in the future.
Apple is admittedly very clear that the function only provides a retrospective estimate, meaning it cannot be used to predict when ovulation will take place – only when it has. This is nevertheless useful information for those who are trying to get pregnant.
The company also emphasizes that it is not intended to be used as contraception, such as Natural Cycles.
Is it Bringing Revolution in Health?
Temperature sensors in wearables are not entirely new, but there are few companies that use the data in this way.
Fitbit’s Sense watches can measure skin temperature at night, but the data is not used for anything more than that. Samsung has equipped its new Galaxy Watch 5 with a temperature sensor, but at launch, it is not activated for use. The only others who do something similar to Apple are Finnish Oura with their Oura Ring 3.
Also new in iOS 16 and WatchOS 9 is that the Cycle app can send notifications if a user’s cycle history shows a possible deviation, such as irregular, infrequent or extra-long periods.
After the United States Supreme Court earlier this year overturned the Roe v. Wade ruling, which secured American women the right to self-determined abortion, a debate has flared up regarding privacy in terms of this type of functionality.
Investigations have shown that many pregnancies and period tracking apps share data with third parties, according to The Guardian.
During the launch of the new Apple Watch models, Apple pointed out that the data is stored safely and is not shared with anyone. They have had a lot of focus on privacy in recent times, and are among the technology companies that have stood the hardest at refusing to share data with authorities.
What may appear on paper as a less significant piece of news can actually turn out to be far more important than expected – perhaps even revolutionary. Women’s health has been and still is a low-priority area. If the world’s largest technology company shows a willingness to invest, perhaps the health industry will follow suit.
Apple Watch S8 and Crash Detection
With functions such as fall detection and ECG measurement, the Apple Watch has become a safety watch. New with this year’s models is that they can detect if you have been involved in a car accident.
Using a new accelerometer and gyroscope, the watch should be able to measure extreme changes in G-force. It also uses the barometer, GPS, and microphone of the connected iPhone to detect unique patterns that indicate whether a car crash has occurred.
If the function is turned off, the watch will automatically send your location to local emergency services, so you can quickly get the help you need. Your emergency contacts will also be notified.
Whether it works, we have not been able to test – fortunately, we can almost say. Apple certainly has a good “track record” when it comes to the other security functions, and we can constantly read stories that the watch has saved someone’s life, the undersigned’s father included.
Another function we think is nice is the decibel meter, which warns of excessive ambient noise.
Energy Saving Mode
Basically, nothing has happened to the battery life of the Apple Watch Series 8. It is still “all day” or 18 hours as it has always been.
This has been and still is the biggest complaint with the Apple watch.
Considering that you can now use it to track sleep and that the new temperature sensor is in use at night, it is perhaps more problematic than ever. For my part, I solve it by charging when I get ready in the morning or when I get to work.
This year, however, Apple offers a kind of solution. With a new energy-saving mode, however, the clock should last twice as long, i.e., for 36 hours. This will turn off functions such as the “always on” screen, automatic exercise registration, heart alerts, and the like. It works much like on the iPhone, and is definitely a welcome feature when the pinch is at its worst.
Apple Watch Series 8 Introduces New Software
WatchOS 9 also offers a number of nice news, such as a new Medicines app where you can keep track of your medication use and a redesigned Kompass app with so-called breadcrumb tracking.
The training app has also been improved, with more data fields, training instructions for heart rate zones, and new interval functions. Now it can also measure running power and running dynamics.
The Apple Watch Series 8 may not be as exciting as the new sports edition Apple Watch Ultra. It has the same design as previous editions, and the number of novelties is few. The little news is welcome, however, and the undersigned is at least convinced that they will prove to have a far greater impact on people’s lives than many think.
It must be said that Apple does not have to do very much to get the best smartwatch on the market. This is despite the fact that you have to charge it almost daily.