A day with watchOS 8

I’ve gone all in with the beta’s this year and for the first time in a while went in with watchOS. I thought I’d share my experience of using it for a day, which may help you decide to go for it or not.

Battery life

This is the first thing you’re going to notice. For me I ended the day with about 30% less battery life than I normally do. I still got through the day ok but couldn’t have done sleep tracking (I don’t anyway). That was with two 40 minute workouts and general use throughout the day. If you’re a heavy user DO NOT USE THE BETA. This is even more important if you’re out for the day at your job and can’t throw it on a charger.

Is new functionality worth it?

Well, there isn’t a lot of new functionality in my opinion. No new watch faces added to the beta yet and the only thing I’m enjoying was the new always on timer. The downside though is that it wasn’t keeping in time, yes that’s right the timer was randomly changing how long was left.

Multiple timers is a nice addition but again for me at least they aren’t consistently working.

It’s more about little UI tweaks here and there like the one above when choosing faces.

In day to day use I didn’t really think wow this is worth putting the beta onto my watch.

Performance and stability

Let’s talk about performance first. I’m on a series 6 and for me I haven’t noticed any slow down with using the beta. Just like iOS 15 it’s running as good as the public release, remember for performance.

Now in terms of stability it’s the worst of the new beta’s. I can’t close recently used apps without a crash, the timer is inconsistent and I can’t dismiss time to walk in workouts so far. As long as I don’t care about these I’m fine so I’m ok to continue using but I’d be careful if you really do rely on your Apple Watch to get you through the day. I still love my Casio so I’ll most likely switch back and forth between a traditional watch and the Apple Watch.

Should you use the beta?

I know it’s tempting but given the stability I’d hold off on this first beta. Jump on at public beta or wait for developer build 3.