watchOS 10 was revealed during WWDC 2023, and it reimagines several parts of the Apple Watch operating system. Widgets appear with a turn of the Digital Crown, apps are redesigned to take advantage of larger displays, and even more health metrics can be tracked.
● Full redesign
● Space-filling apps
● Mental health tracking
● Custom workouts
● Released September 18, 2023
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Even after a redesign, the Apple Watch focuses on three main feature sets — health, fitness, and customization. Apple rebuilt these systems to take advantage of the ever-increasing Apple Watch displays and improve controls.
Apple brought widgets to Apple Watch, moved Control Center to the Side Button, and redesigned apps to utilize more of the display. Those updates, combined with new APIs and system changes, lead to an abundant release.
A new watchOS
Everything was redesigned to show more useful content and take advantage of every bit of screen real estate. Apple even rebuilt its first-party apps in this new full-screen style.
Scrolling the Digital Crown from the watch face will bring up the Smart Stack. It is arranged based on user interaction, location, and time.
Having widgets always within easy reach takes the pressure off of users to have information-dense watch faces. Now, regardless of the chosen watch face, relevant data is just a scroll away.
Control Center is also now easily accessed from anywhere in watchOS by pressing the Side Button. Pressing the Digital Crown still brings up the app list, but the honeycomb view is now scrollable.
The updated fitness features for Apple Watch stem from new APIs for developers and changes to Apple Fitness+. Users can customize Apple Fitness+ workouts, and developers can tap into these systems.
Multiple metrics have been introduced or updated, like cycling metrics are improved with Live Activities, hiking gains a compass view, and Bluetooth accessories can pair directly to Apple Watch. Apple also added a new Power Zones workout view.
Hikers also gain new trail information like name, length, time, elevation gain, difficulty, and more. There's even a topographic map view.
Mental health was a big focus during WWDC across multiple platforms. Users can log their state of mind through the Mindfulness app and see how it trends versus other metrics.
State of mind logs can be found in the Health app. It can help the user find trends between mood and other health metrics like sleep, calorie intake, workouts, and more.
Vision health was also an important part of the keynote. Apple wants to help battle myopia by alerting users to move their iPhone or iPad away from their face and use Apple Watch to track time in the sun.
With watchOS 10.2, users can log health metrics like weight by invoking Siri. Health data can also be accessed by Siri, like asking for current calorie intake or logged sleep.
New watch faces
It wouldn't be a new version of watchOS without a handful of new watch faces. Also, more system complications work across different watch face types.
A new Snoopy watch face will show an animated Snoopy and Woodstock upon a wrist raise. The background is black and white during the week, but on Sunday, it is colorful, like the Sunday newspaper comic.
Another new watch face was introduced called Palette. It shifts between three colors throughout the day using three distinct overlapping layers.
watchOS 10 release date and compatibility
Apple announced watchOS 10 during WWDC in June and released developer betas for testing. Public testing began in July.
watchOS 10 requires iPhone XS, iPhone XR, or later with iOS 17 and one of the following Apple Watch models:
Apple released watchOS 10 to the public on September 18, 2023. It was released alongside iOS 17 and just a few days before iPhone 15 and Apple Watch Series 9 began shipping to customers.