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Monday October 25, 2021 11:00 am PDT by Juli Clover

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.

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