Apple Watch in 2021: hype, some disappointment and a pretty great 7 Series

Cupertino, December 27, 2021

Source: Stephen Warwick / iMore

We are in the twilight of 2021 and it is time to look back at what Apple has accomplished over the past twelve months, especially with the Apple Watch. Of course, we only had one new model this year, the Apple Watch Series 7, but keep in mind that watchOS is a big part of what makes an Apple Watch, well, an Apple Watch.

So as we prepare to call in 2022, let's take a look back at what happened to the Apple Watch this year.

Preview watchOS 8 at WWDC

Apple Watch SE using Reflect in watchOS 8Source: Luke Filipowicz / iMore

The first major shutdown for the Apple Watch in 2021 came to WWDC with the introduction of watchOS 8. I immediately jumped into beta for developers and started working on the new update. My first impressions of the new software were quite light and there were no outstanding features in watchOS 8 that would amaze most people or me, by the way.

First impressions are important, but as I used watchOS 8 more and more, I realized what Apple wanted with watchOS 8. You see, it wasn't an update to amaze anyone, but rather a solid quality of life update. . which allows you to do more from the Apple Watch.

Sending messages is easier thanks to the ability to use Scribble, Dictation and emoji, all in the same message. Focus lets you set custom mode Do not disturb all your devices at the touch of a button. Sharing photos on your Apple Watch is now possible and fairly straightforward. And, the Home app has received a huge update, which makes it much easier to control all HomeKit accessories.

It's all about being able to do more and have more control over your wrist, so while the Mindfulness app with the new Reflect feature is a little lackluster, all the little improvements make your Apple Watch better. And if this isn't a successful watchOS update, I'm not sure.

Rumor has it...

Apple Watch Series 7Source: Stephen Warwick / iMore

Before we start talking about the best Apple Watch that Apple releases every year, we need to address the elephant in the room: rumors.

There were a lot of rumors surrounding the Apple Watch Series 7 before it came out, especially since the Apple Watch received a redesign, including flatter edges and a more square-edged design. Of course, all these rumors spread, and people were very excited, including me, and when the Apple Watch Series 7 was launched, many people were disappointed.

It's awful because the Apple Watch Series 7 is a great Apple Watch, but it has been unnecessarily clogged by the expectations of many people whose expectations have become too high based on rumors. I include myself in this group.

The hype is very real, and as a person who covers Apple technology every day, it was a good reminder that all the rumors, no matter how credible the source was in the past, should not influence any expectations.

Don't sleep on the Apple Watch Series 7

Apple Watch Series 7 TrainingSource: Luke Filipowicz / iMore

By the way, let's talk about the Apple Watch Series 7, which this year has become bigger than ever.

Well, there was no total redesign. Apple Watch Series 7 has made the case larger by a fraction - the 7 Series comes in 41mm and 45mm cases instead of the 40mm and 44mm ones we've seen in recent years. It's not much, but the screen gets bigger when you combine it with smaller frames.

The screen feels super present on your wrist now and makes using the Apple Watch better - especially for people with vision or mobility problems. The whole interface feels a little less crowded and easier to read and access. In terms of usage, it's the easiest upgrade for the Apple Watch in years, and I don't think it gets enough credit.

Now, that doesn't mean there's no valid criticism of the Apple Watch Series 7. Battery life is the same as last year's 6 Series (although it charges faster, which is nice), the processor isn't. t updated and there are no new health sensors. I still wouldn't recommend anyone upgrading from a 6 Series to a 7 Series. There's nothing about the Apple Watch Series 7 that makes it a "must-have" device, but you don't have to reinvent the wheel every time.

Bottom line: The Apple Watch Series 7 is great and probably didn't get a proper shake because of the hype that led to its launch. It doesn't do anything appealing and new, but it has everything we liked about the Apple Watch.

Excited for the future

The Apple Watch in 2021 may not have been the most exciting year the device has seen, but all the improvements in watchOS 8 and the Apple Watch Series 7 have shown us that the Apple Watch remains a powerful extension of the Apple ecosystem. I'm entering 2022 with high hopes that the Apple Watch will have another good year, but I'm definitely trying to keep my expectations under control in the future.

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