Apple Releases watchOS 8.5 With Support for Apple TV Purchase Authorization, Irregular Heart Rhythm Notification Improvements and More

Apple today released watchOS 8.5, the fourth major update to the watchOS 8 operating system that launched in September. watchOS 8.5 comes two months after the launch of watchOS 8.4, which fixed a charging bug.

watchOS 8 on Apple Watch feature
‌‌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 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.

watchOS 8.5 introduces support for Emoji 14 characters, with new additions including melting face, biting lip, heart hands, bubbles, beans, face with diagonal mouth, palm up hand, eggs, troll, low battery, coral, lotus, and more, plus it includes improvements to Apple's irregular heart rhythm feature that notifies 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 authorize Apple TV purchases and subscriptions
  • COVID-19 vaccination cards in Apple Wallet now support the EU Digital COVID Certificate format
  • Updates to irregular heart rhythm notifications designed to improve atrial fibrillation identification. Available in the United States, Chile, Hong Kong, South Africa, and many more regions where the feature is available.
  • Audio hints in Fitness+ provide you with audio commentary of visually demonstrated moves during workouts.

For more on all of the features in watchOS 8, we have a dedicated watchOS 8 roundup.

Related Roundup: watchOS 9

Top Rated Comments

expectdelay Avatar
10 months ago
That irregular heart rhythm notification is a great feature, and I love that they are updating it. It was very helpful to me. Love any health related updates.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Robert.Walter Avatar
10 months ago

PSA: This is the first Watch OS update that requires newer than iOS 15.1.1. :)
My mom just tried to update her watch and it told her that she had to update her phone first (both watch and phone are on the latest, not today’s, last revision. )
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mapsdotapp Avatar
10 months ago
nice quality of life improvement: inputting your passcode immediately unlocks the watch instead of having to tap OK to submit it.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Toratek Avatar
10 months ago
My iPad Pro, iPhone13 Pro, MacBook Pro, and both my Apple Watches (7 & 6) updated in a grand total of 20 minutes. This was a very smooth update.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CarlJ Avatar
10 months ago

It’s taking 2 hours to download …..is it normal??????
Any chance it's trying to download over a different connection (either cellular or WiFi, vs. using bluetooth from the iPhone)?

I just updated my watch (Series 5) and it took less than 5 minutes for the whole process.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
london_apple Avatar
10 months ago
2 hours to download… still waiting. Why is it always the Watch that takes forever to update? Literally every other product downloads an update faster for me lol
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

watchOS 8 on Apple Watch feature

Apple Seeds First Beta of watchOS 8.4 to Developers

Friday December 17, 2021 1:15 pm PST by
Apple today seeded the first beta of an upcoming watchOS 8.4 beta to developers for testing purposes, with the new software coming four days after the release of watchOS 8.3. To install watchOS 8.4, developers will need to download the configuration profile from the Apple Developer Center. Once installed, ‌‌‌‌watchOS 8‌‌‌‌ can be downloaded through the dedicated Apple Watch...
watchOS 8 on Apple Watch feature

Apple Seeds watchOS 8.1 Release Candidate to Developers

Monday October 18, 2021 11:24 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the release candidate version of an upcoming watchOS 8.1 beta to developers for testing purposes, with the update coming one week after the release of the fourth beta and a month after the release of the watchOS 8 update. To install ‌‌‌watchOS 8.1‌‌‌, developers will need to download the configuration profile from the Apple Developer Center. Once installed,...
7

Apple Releases watchOS 7.6, Bringing ECG and Irregular Heart Rhythm Notifications to 30 New Regions

Monday July 19, 2021 10:05 am PDT by
Apple today released watchOS 7.6, the sixth major update to the watchOS 7 operating system that was released in September 2020. watchOS 7.6 comes two months after the release of watchOS 7.5. ‌‌The watchOS 7.6 update‌‌ 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...
watchOS 8 on Apple Watch feature

Apple Seeds Fifth Beta of watchOS 8.5 to Developers

Tuesday March 1, 2022 10:04 am PST by
Apple today seeded the fifth beta of an upcoming watchOS 8.5 update to developers for testing purposes, with the software coming a week after the release of the fourth watchOS 8.5 beta. To install ‌‌‌watchOS 8.5, developers will need to download the configuration profile from the Apple Developer Center. Once installed, ‌‌‌watchOS 8.5‌‌‌ can be downloaded through the...
watchOS 8 on Apple Watch feature

Apple Seeds Fourth Beta of watchOS 8.5 to Developers

Tuesday February 22, 2022 10:06 am PST by
Apple today seeded the fourth beta of an upcoming watchOS 8.5 update to developers for testing purposes, with the software coming a week after the release of the third watchOS 8.5 beta. To install ‌‌‌watchOS 8.5, developers will need to download the configuration profile from the Apple Developer Center. Once installed, ‌‌‌watchOS 8.5‌‌‌ can be downloaded through the...
watchOS 8 on Apple Watch feature

Apple Seeds watchOS 8.4 Release Candidate to Developers

Thursday January 20, 2022 10:10 am PST by
Apple today seeded the release candidate version of an upcoming watchOS 8.4 beta to developers for testing purposes, with the new software coming one week after the launch of the first betas and over a month after the release of watchOS 8.3. To install watchOS 8.4, developers will need to download the configuration profile from the Apple Developer Center. Once installed, ‌‌‌‌watchOS...
watchOS 8 on Apple Watch feature

Apple Releases watchOS 8.4 With Fix for Apple Watch Charging Bug

Wednesday January 26, 2022 9:50 am PST by
Apple today released watchOS 8.4, the third major update to the watchOS 8 operating system that launched in September. watchOS 8.4 comes over a month after the release of watchOS 8.3, an update that added support for the Apple Music Voice Plan. ‌‌watchOS ‌8.4 can be downloaded for free through the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General > Software Update. To install the...
Apple watchOS 7

Apple Releases watchOS 7.6.1 With Security Updates

Thursday July 29, 2021 10:30 am PDT by
Apple today released watchOS 7.6.1, a minor update to the watchOS 7 operating system that was released in September 2020. watchOS 7.6.1 comes two weeks after the release of watchOS 7.6, an update that brought ECG capabilities to new regions. ‌‌The watchOS 7.6.1 update‌‌ can be downloaded for free through the dedicated Apple Watch app on the ‌iPhone‌ by going to General > Software ...

Popular Stories

maxresdefault

Can't Get an iPhone 14 Pro? Here's Why You Should Wait for the iPhone 15 Ultra

Monday December 5, 2022 11:44 am PST by
Due to production issues at Apple supplier factories in China, the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are backordered and basically out of stock at every store. If you were planning to gift or receive an iPhone 14 Pro model for the holidays and didn't already get one, you're basically out of luck because they're gone until late December. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more ...
Apple advanced security Advanced Data Protection screen Feature

FBI Calls End-to-End Encryption 'Deeply Concerning' as Privacy Groups Hail Apple's Advanced Data Protection as a Victory for Users

Thursday December 8, 2022 2:45 am PST by
Apple yesterday announced that end-to-end encryption is coming to even more sensitive types of iCloud data, including device backups, messages, photos, and more, meeting the longstanding demand of both users and privacy groups who have rallied for the company to take the significant step forward in user privacy. iCloud end-to-end encryption, or what Apple calls "Advanced Data Protection,"...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

iOS 16.2 for iPhone Launching This Month With These 8 New Features

Thursday December 1, 2022 8:44 am PST by
Apple plans to publicly release iOS 16.2 for the iPhone in mid-December, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The update remains in beta testing for now, with at least eight new features and changes already uncovered so far. iOS 16.2 introduces a number of new features, including Apple's new whiteboard app Freeform, two new Lock Screen widgets for Sleep and Medications, the ability to hide...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With Apple Music Sing in iOS 16.2

Wednesday December 7, 2022 12:24 pm PST by
With the iOS 16.2 release candidate that came out today, Apple added the new Apple Music Sing feature that was announced earlier this week. We thought we'd check out the new karaoke feature to see how it works. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Apple Music Sing is available on modern iPhones and iPads, as well as the newest Apple TV 4K. It's built in to the Apple...
Apple car wheel icon feature yellow

Apple to Charge Under $100,000 for Apple Car, Launch Planned for 2026

Tuesday December 6, 2022 2:31 pm PST by
Apple is aiming to launch an Apple-branded consumer-oriented vehicle by 2026, and its goal is to hit a price point under $100,000 to make the car appeal to a wider range of customers, reports Bloomberg. Apple initially planned to design a car that might look similar to Canoo's Lifestyle Vehicle, where passengers could face one another in a limousine-style car with no steering wheel or...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

iOS 16.2 for iPhone Expected to Launch Next Week With These 12 New Features

Thursday December 8, 2022 7:05 am PST by
iOS 16.2 is expected to be released next week following nearly two months of beta testing. With last-minute additions like Apple Music Sing and Advanced Data Protection, the software update now has over a dozen new features for the iPhone. Below, we've recapped many of the new features coming with iOS 16.2, including Apple's new whiteboard app Freeform, two new Lock Screen widgets, the...
introducing apple music sing

Apple Music Adding a Karaoke Experience With Apple Music Sing

Tuesday December 6, 2022 7:09 am PST by
Apple today announced Apple Music Sing, a new feature in Apple Music that lets users sing their favorite songs with adjustable vocals and more. Apple Music Sing will utilize Apple Music's real-time lyrics to allow users to sing to their favorite songs using adjustable vocals, background vocals, and duet view to allow more than one singer.Apple Music Sing includes: Adjustable vocals: Users...
Twitter Feature

Twitter to Charge $11 Per Month for Twitter Blue on iPhone, $7 on Website

Wednesday December 7, 2022 6:47 pm PST by
Twitter plans to charge $11 per month for a Twitter Blue subscription on the iPhone in order to account for the 30 percent cut that Apple takes from in-app purchases, reports The Information. On the web, Twitter Blue will be priced at $7 per month. Prior to when Twitter Blue was paused, Twitter was charging $7.99 for a subscription, but the pricing will change before it relaunches. According ...
Apple advanced security Advanced Data Protection screen Feature

Apple Announces End-to-End Encryption Option for iCloud Photos, Notes, Backups, and More

Wednesday December 7, 2022 10:00 am PST by
Apple today announced it is expanding end-to-end encryption to many additional iCloud data categories on an opt-in basis for enhanced security. iCloud already protects 14 data categories using end-to-end encryption by default, including the Messages app when backups are disabled, passwords stored in iCloud Keychain, Health data, Apple Maps search history, Apple Card transactions, and more,...