At today’s ‘Far Out‘ event, Apple introduced the new Apple Watch Series 8, its latest smartwatch which features a body temperature sensor, crash detection, and low-power mode. And as was heavily rumored, the Series 8 is built with a thermometer that can to be used to aid with fertility tracking.
The Apple Watch Series 8 will be on sale for $399 with GPS capabilities, and $499 for cellular and GPS connectivity.
As previewed last spring at WWDC 2022, WatchOS 9, the software which powers the Series 8, is chock-full of fitness and health features. With the new body-temperature sensor, the Apple Watch Series 8 takes health tracking a big step further. The Series 8 measures biphasic readings — aka hormonal fluctuations, and shows a retrospective estimate of when you ovulated in the Health app.
Apple also addressed privacy concerns regarding tracking women’s health data — an issue which has become critically relevant post-Roe v. Wade. In line with other Apple features that track data, this fertility data is encrypted on your Apple Watch and will only be accessible via passcode, Touch ID, or Face ID. It is also end-to-end encrypted when synced in iCloud.
Apple didn’t mention measuring temperature for signs of a fever, which falls in line with Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman’s prediction that we’ll have to wait for future Apple Watch versions. That might come in 2024 with the Apple Watch’s rumored blood pressure and blood sugar monitoring features.
Another major update to the Apple Watch Series 8’s suite of features is crash detection. Using an accelerometer and gyroscope sensors, the Series 8 can detect a crash and provide emergency information. Apple says crash detection is only on when you’re driving and during a possible crash. Apple hopes “you truly never need it,” although that sounds more ominous than reassuring.
Low-power mode, bougie bands, and international roaming
The Apple Watch Series 8 also has a low-power mode which allows certain apps like activity tracking and fall detection to run while conserving battery. With a full charge, Apple says it can last 36 hours in low-power mode compared to (allegedly) 18 hours in full-power mode.
Aesthetic upgrades to the Apple Watch Series 8 includes new Nike and Hermes bands. The standard body is now made of recycled aluminum and comes in midnight, starlight, silver, and product red colorways, or you can grab the stainless steel version in silver, gold, and graphite.
The Apple Watch Series 8 is equipped with international roaming for “little or no cost” — Apple made no mention of that specific cost. International roaming will also be available to all Apple Watch models with WatchOS 9.