Apple introduces watchOS 8.5 for the Watch Series 3 and newer
Apple has released watchOS 8.5, one of many OS updates that the company has seeded this week. For some reason, watchOS 8.5 is a much smaller update than iPadOS 15.4 and macOS Monterey 12.3, which bring Universal Control to iPads and Macs, among other changes. Still, watchOS 8.5 introduces a few useful features, which are available on the Watch Series 3 or later.
Specifically, Apple has added the option of authorising Apple TV purchases and subscriptions directly on your Apple Watch. Theoretically, this should mirror the experience of receiving a Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) notification on your Apple Watch. Additionally, you can now store COVID-19 vaccination cards in Apple Wallet, but only those that comply with the EU Digital COVID Certificate format. You can read more about the format on the European Commission's website.
Moreover, Apple has included updates to irregular rhythm notifications for identifying atrial fibrillation. For reference, Apple flags that this feature is available in Chile, Hong Kong, South Africa and the US. You can see if your country is on the list on a dedicated Apple Support document. Incidentally, Apple has added audio hints in Fitness+ to provide you with audio commentary of visually demonstrated moves during workouts.
Please note that you can only update your Apple Watch to watch OS 8.5, which is over a 500 MB download, once it has at least 50% battery life remaining. Also, the update will only commence once you begin recharging it and if it is connected to your iPhone. You can continue to wear your Apple Watch while it is updating, though.