Apple Releases watchOS 8.1 With SharePlay Fitness+ Group Workouts, Fall Detection Enhancements and More

Apple today released watchOS 8.1, the first major update to the watchOS 8 operating system that launched in September. watchOS 8.1 is compatible with the Apple Watch Series 3 and later, and it comes one month after the release of watchOS 8.

watchOS 8 on Apple Watch feature
‌‌watchOS ‌8.1 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 needs to have at least 50 percent battery, it needs to be placed on a charger, and it needs to be in range of the ‌‌‌‌iPhone‌‌‌‌.

According to Apple's release notes, the watchOS 8.1 operating system introduces enhanced fall detection algorithms, support for a COVID-19 vaccination card in the Wallet app, and Fitness+ workouts with others over FaceTime using SharePlay.

watchOS 8.1 includes the following improvements and bug fixes for your Apple Watch:
- Enhanced algorithms to detect falls during workouts and option to enable fall detection during workouts only (Apple Watch Series 4 and later)
- COVID-19 vaccination card support allows you to present verifiable vaccination information from Apple Wallet
- Fitness+ supports SharePlay to allow subscribers to invite up to 32 people to workout together through a FaceTime call using iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV
- Always On may not display the time accurately for some users when their wrist is down (Apple Watch Series 5 and later)

Details on what's new in the watchOS 8 update can be found in our watchOS roundup.

Related Roundups: watchOS 10, watchOS 11
Related Forum: Apple Watch

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Top Rated Comments

BugeyeSTI Avatar
36 months ago
Wow, they supposedly fixed the lagging time bug on AOD watches. If true, very good news..
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jackbauer1909 Avatar
36 months ago

Wow, they supposedly fixed the lagging time bug on AOD watches. If true, very good news..
After more than one year, what a great performance! The bug was present the entire watchOS 7 lifetime.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
larryheier Avatar
36 months ago

I setup my new Apple Watch and once paired, the WatchOS 8.1 download appears on the iPhone but it is written all in Chinese. Does anyone else see this?

-larry
I've attached what I see on the iPhone. Really weird.....

Attachment Image
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
larryheier Avatar
36 months ago

I've attached what I see on the iPhone. Really weird.....
I fixed it by deleting the update, rebooting the phone and the watch. Hope this helps others.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Terbor Avatar
36 months ago
Does this fix the "Dismiss" bug in Messages?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)