Apple unveils Watch Series 8 with new body temp sensor, focus on women’s health


Apple Watch Series 8
The Apple Watch Series 8 focuses on women's health with a new body temperature sensor that can detect ovulation.
Screenshot: Apple

Apple just unveiled the Watch Series 8 with a focus on women’s health, including a body temperature sensor that can help with advanced cycle tracking.

The new watch, available to pre-order today and shipping September 16, also features car crash detection, a new low-power mode, international roaming and new faces and bands.

Pricing starts at $399 for GPS, and $499 for cellular.

Apple Watch Series 8 adds advanced ovulation features as well as new sensors that can detect car crashes.
Apple Watch Series 8 adds advanced ovulation features as well as new sensors that can detect car crashes.
Photo: Apple

Meet the new Apple Watch Series 8

The Apple Watch Series 8 will help keep Apple at the top of the wearables market. Apple Watch enjoys a whopping 36.1 percent market share in Q1 2022, according to market research firm Counterpoint Research, and is seeing double digit growth every year. The new Series 8 is likely to maintain Apple’s dominance in a market that’s growing rapidly.

Trying to conceive? Apple Watch Series 8 helps you get pregnant

Apple Watch showing ovulation detection alert
Apple Watch now has an alert for ovulation.
Screenshot: Apple

The marquee feature of the Series 8 is a new body temperature sensor, which enables retroactive ovulation detection — key info for family planning.

The temperature sensor is powered by two thermometers, one close to the skin on the back of the watch, and the other under the screen to measure ambient temperature. The dual-sensor design gives a more accurate reading of body temperature. “This design improves accuracy by reducing bias from the outside environment,” said Dr. Sumbul Ahmed Desai, Apple VP Health, during Wednesday’s ‘Far Out’ keynote.

By tracking temperature changes at night, the watch can detect a biphasic shift, which is an increase in body temperature that occurs in response to changing hormones. “It can indicate ovulation,” Dr. Desai explained.

All cycle data is encrypted and private

In the light of the overturning of Roe vs. Wade, all cycle health data is private and encrypted.

“Your health data is yours and yours alone,” said Dr. Desai. “Your cycle tracking data is encrypted on your device and only accessible with your passcode, Touch ID or Face ID… Apple does not have the key to decrypt the data and therefore cannot read it.”

Car crash detection

Apple Watch Series 8 will detect car crashes
Apple Watch Series 8 will detect car crashes.
Screenshot: Apple
The Apple Watch Series 8 includes new car crash detection functionality. Called “Crash Detection,” it can detect if you are involved in a serious car crash and contact emergency services and emergency contacts.

The result of years of analyzing car crash data, Crash Detection relies on two new motion sensors: an improved three-axis gyroscope and a high-G Force accelerometer. The new accelerometer can measure up to 256 Gs, and samples motion at more than 3,000 times a second.

As wells motion data, Crash Detection uses the barometer, GPS, and the iPhone microphone to detect whether a series crash has taken place. The barometer, for example, can detect air bags going off. It can detect front impact crashes, side impacts, rear end collisions and rollovers, Apple said.

Low power mode, international roaming

The Series 8 has a low-power mode that extends battery life from 18 hours to 36 hours on a single charge.

“Low power mode maintains many of the core features of Apple Watch, like activity tracking and fall detection, while temporarily disabling other features like always on display and auto workout detection, providing maximum battery savings with the least impact to the user experience,” said Deidre Caldbeck, Director, Apple Watch Product Marketing.

Low power mode is also coming to current models, and will be available on Series 4 and later running watchOS 9.

The Series 8 will also support international roaming. Adding Apple Watch to a roaming plan will enable it to stay connected while traveling abroad. International roaming will be available on more than 30 carriers worldwide, and supported on all cellular models of Apple Watch from Series 5 onward.

Availability and pricing

Apple Watch Series 8 will come in 4 colors
Made os 100% recycled aluminum, the Apple Watch Series 8 will come in four colors.
Screenshot: Apple

Made of 100% recycled aluminum, Apple Watch Series 8 will be available in four colors: Midnight (blue), Starlight, silver, and Product(Red).

There are also three stainless steel finishes: silver, gold and graphite.

The new watch is compatible with all bands.

Series 8 starts at $399 for GPS models, and $499 for cellular. Pre-orders launch today. The watches will be available on September 16. All Apple Watch buyers also get three months of Apple Fitness Plus for free.


Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • The Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.