There are some excellent features coming to the Apple Watch with watchOS 8 later this year, but will your Apple Watch be able to benefit from them? Read on to find out.

The big surprise is that the Apple Watch Series 3, first introduced in September 2017, will continue to be supported by this new version of the watchOS, despite speculation that it might not be supported after users were experiencing difficultly updating the Apple Watch 3 to the latest version of watchOS 7.

There were also some pretty major watchOS 7 bugs when that version first launched in 2020, including battery issues, complications not loading, reboots, overheating and poor performance.

Installing watchOS 7 on the Apple Watch 3 was further complicated because the GPS models only have 8GB of memory. Since the installer has to be downloaded and unpacked the 8GB available isn't enough. As a result, Apple recommends resetting the Apple Watch Series 3, creating a backup, downloading the watchOS update, and restoring the existing profile from the current backup.

But regardless, Apple has decided to support the Apple Watch Series 3 with watchOS 8 - which is probably not that surprising given that the company is still selling the Watch 3.

In order to install watchOS 8 on your Watch you will need an iPhone 6s or newer with iOS 15 installed. Incidentally, the list of supported iPhones is the same as with iOS 14 and iOS 13, read which iPhones get iOS 15?

When it arrives for the general public later this year, watchOS 8 will run on these devices:

  • Apple Watch Series 3
  • Apple Watch Series 4
  • Apple Watch Series 5
  • Apple Watch SE
  • Apple Watch Series 6

If you are a registered developer you can download watchOS 8 beta now.