Apple today released watchOS 8.5, the fourth major update to the watchOS 8 operating system launched in September. watchOS 8.5 arrives two months after the launch of watchOS 8.4, which fixed a charging bug.
watchOS 8.5 can be downloaded for free through the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General > Software Update. To install the new software, the Apple Watch must have at least 50% battery, it must be placed on a charger, and it must be within range of the iPhone.
watchOS 8.5 introduces support for 14 Emoji characters, with new additions including melting face, biting lip, heart-shaped hands, bubbles, beans, diagonal mouth face, palm up high, eggs, troll, low battery, coral, lotus, and more, plus it includes improvements to Apple’s irregular heartbeat feature that alerts users if atrial fibrillation is detected. Apple’s full release notes for the update are below.
watchOS 8.5 includes new features, improvements, and bug fixes, including:
- Ability to allow Apple TV purchases and subscriptions
- COVID-19 Vaccination Cards in Apple Wallet Now Support EU COVID Digital Certificate Format
- Updates to irregular heartbeat notifications designed to improve identification of atrial fibrillation. Available in the United States, Chile, Hong Kong, South Africa, and many other regions where the feature is available.
- Audio Guidance in Fitness+ provides you with an audio commentary of movements visually demonstrated during workouts.
To learn more about all the features of watchOS 8, we have a dedicated watchOS 8 roundup.
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