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Friday, September 24, 2021

WatchOS 8 app ‘leaks’ hint at a more independent Apple Watch


The Apple Watch might not be quite so closely tied to your iPhone after WWDC. MacRumors reports that developer Khaos Tian has discovered App Store profile info referencing unannounced Watch-native versions of the Contacts and Tips apps found on other Apple devices. While there isn’t much to see beyond the names, this suggests watchOS 8 might offer more independence — you could manage your contact list or get Apple Watch interface help solely from your wrist.

The profile data also makes a reference to a “Mind” app that isn’t available on any Apple hardware. It’s not clear what this might be, although Apple’s focus on health suggests it could be a mental health or mindfulness app. Bloomberg sources recently claimed the Apple Watch would get “health-tracking” improvements in watchOS 8, but didn’t elaborate.

It wouldn’t be shocking for Apple to press for greater Watch independence with watchOS 8. The company took a significant step toward that with watchOS 7’s Family Setup, where kids can use an Apple Watch linked to a parent’s iPhone. We wouldn’t count on complete independence in this new software (if it ever happens), but it might help you leave your handset at home more often.

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