Apple announces watchOS 10: The Apple Watch experience, redefined

WatchOS 10: The biggest update in years
Today at WWDC 2023, Apple has announced the latest, and objectively, greatest update to the watchOS platform. The software that powers all Apple Watch wearables is scoring quite an intriguing set of new features that will overhaul the user experience. Just like the rest of the software updates previewed at WWDC'23, watchOS 10 is coming this fall to an Apple Watch near you.

Okay, after all this hype, let's see what's new with Apple's watchOS 10.

Widgets & Smart Stack

watchOS 10 scores a visual overhaul that allows you to access your widgets at a glance from any of your watchfaces. To access widgets in watchOS 10, one will have to simply wind up the digital crown of your Apple Watch to access the widgets pane. 

Currently, this gesture has been reserved for some exclusive functionalities to certain watchfaces, but watchOS 10 will make it a universal gesture for the operating system. 

It seems watchOS widgets look and seemingly feel like iOS widgets, providing you with vital information. Smart Stack is a major part of watchOS 10 as well, automatically bundling widgets together similarly to the way iOS handles these. 

Apple says that Smart Stack will automatically adjust to your daily endeavours: early in the morning, it will push the weather widget to the top of the stack, while Wallet boarding passes might get favored while you're travelling with public transportation. The same applies to widgets from Calendar and Reminders, which will take priority when an upcoming event is about to kick off, or your music controls when you're actively listening to music.

watchOS 10 also changes the way the Control Center and recent apps are invoked: "Control Center is now accessible using the side button, making it easy to quickly open it at any time, over any app. A double-click of the Digital Crown reverts back to any apps used recently."

Essential apps, redesigned

Apple has also redesigned some essential watchOS apps in order to make better use of the available screen real estate. Weather, Stocks, Home, Maps, Messages, World Clock, and other stock apps will look different once watchOS 10 arrives. These apps will make a much better use of the available screen real estate and adopt a visual style more coherent with the rest of Apple's operating systems. 

New watch faces are an important part of every watchOS update, and watchOS 10 is no different. Palette and Snoopy & Woodstock from Peanuts will be the two new watchfaces included with watchOS 10. The former is a simplistic and very colorful watchface, while the latter is a cute-sy homage to the beloved comic heroes, which are capable of responding to your immediate surroundings and even the watch hands themselves. They might even react to your local weather in style or be active while you're working out. 

Activity improvements

With watchOS 10, Apple Watch devices will be scoring advanced new metrics and data views for cyclists, making it one of the most important updates for fans of the sport. For example, starting a cycling activity on your Apple Watch will automatically show up as a Live Activity on your iPhone. Once tapped, this activity will expand to a biking computer view of sorts that will show you your current speed, the distance you've biked, the average speed, heart rate, and many other data views. Provided that you mount your iPhone on your bike, you can use it as a full-fledged biking computer.

Recommended Stories
That's not all though. watchOS 10 will allow your Apple Watch to seamlessly connect to various Bluetooth-enabled biking accessories, like cadence sensors, power meters, and so on, allowing you to keep more precise tabs on your cycling power measured in watts, your cadence in RPM, and better utilization of your Power Zones.

Hiking is another field that watchOS 10 aims to ameliorate. The Compass app will become even more helpful, allowing you to view the precise location where you last had cellular reception sufficient enough to check your messages or make a call. The watch will also keep tabs on where you last had enough cellular connection to place an emergency call which could be extremely helpful and vital if you're in the deep backcountry. This jibes well with the Apple Watch Ultra's more adventurous nature. 

And, in order to generally boost users' health and help prevent the onslaught  of nearsightedness, or myopia, your Apple Watch will be able to measure how long you've spent outdoors every day thanks to the ambient light sensor. Apple says that between 80 to 120 minutes of time spent outside is beneficial to both physical and mental health, especially for kids. 

Other features

watchOS 10 will support some essential features that were introduced with iOS 17

NameDrop, allowing you to quickly and effortlessly share your contact card with another iPhone user, will also work with your Apple Watch.

Offline maps saved on your iPhone will also be available on your Apple Watch provided that the phone is in range. 

watchOS 10 release date and eligible devices

watchOS 10 will arrive on the same set of smartwatches that supported watchOS 9. This means that the Apple Watch Series 4 and newer should receive watchOS 10 this fall. 

The developer beta of watchOS 10 is coming to all those with Apple developer account shortly after the WWDC keynote concludes. Adventurous users will be able to wet their beak in the public beta, coming this July. 

Recommended Stories

Loading Comments...
FCC OKs Cingular\'s purchase of AT&T Wireless