Apple Watch's 'Breathe' app is being replaced by something far more useful

The latest WatchOS update increases the Apple Watch's focus on mindfulness, along with some other key new features

Apple watch
(Image credit: Apple)

The Apple Watch has just had an update - and we're loving how much they're focussing on being more mindful.

In the update - watchOS 8, the Breathe app will become the Mindfulness app - and will feature an enhanced breathing experience, plus a new session type called Reflect.

Breathe work and meditation is becoming more important in all our lives and some of the best fitness watches are recognizing this. 

The new Mindfulness app means that Apple Watch users can take 5 or 10 minutes out of their day to breathe, reflect or mediate. 

Apple Watch is adding tai chi and Pilates to its mindful workouts

(Image credit: Apple)

The new app includes a new feature called Reflect, which offers a mindful intention to focus on for as little as one minute  - and can be done anywhere and at any time. Perfect for a stressful commute or now that some of us are back in the office.

We love how each Reflect session welcomes the user with a unique, thoughtful notion, like 'Recall a time recently when you felt a sense of calm. Bring that feeling into this moment,' - as well as gratitude prompts -  they're a great way to switch your thinking and reframe any negative thoughts.

Both the Breathe and Reflect experiences, which feature new animations, offer tips to help you get more from each session - so you'll be a mindful expert in no time.

If you're looking to calm down your workout routines too, the update also offers two new workout types, Tai Chi and Pilates. Supported by custom-built heart rate and motion algorithms they will also provide you with accurate metrics to track your progress. If you're looking for more fitness apps -  check out our guide to the latest best fitness apps.

Another update for the Apple Watch includes your sleeping respiratory rate. The watch already had sleep tracking, but this function will give you more insight into your overall wellness when you're in bed. Your sleep respiratory rate is the number of breaths you take per minute as you're snoozing - and can indicate whether you are coming down with something or if you need to take a day to rest.

While if you are having trouble focusing on a task, you can also turn a new function called Focus on - it will stop all notifications, while helping you reduce distraction and be in the moment.

Sarah Finley

Sarah is a freelance journalist who writes about fitness and wellbeing for the BBC, Woman&Home and Tech Radar. During lockdown she found her love of running outside again and now attempts to run around 50 miles a month. When it comes to other fitness, she loves a sweaty cardio session – although since she’s been working out from home she’s sure her downstairs neighbors aren’t too happy about it. She also loves to challenge herself - and has signed up to do hiking holidays, intense bootcamps and last year she went on her dream activity holiday: paddle boarding around deserted islands in Croatia. On her rest days, she loves to recover with a simple yoga flow session – the perfect antidote to her active fitness schedule.