All the New Features Apple Is Bringing to WatchOS 10 This Fall
Last year’s WWDC event brought significant hardware updates to the Apple Watch, introducing the robust Apple Watch Ultra. However, this year’s focus is on software. During the recent WWDC keynote, Apple unveiled its plans to deliver substantial updates to the wearable’s software with the arrival of watchOS 10 in the upcoming fall season.
One of the notable enhancements in watchOS 10 is the introduction of widgets, which provide users with more information at a glance. While the Apple Watch has always featured customizable watch faces to keep users informed about their upcoming appointments, weather updates, messages, and physical activity levels without needing their iPhones, watchOS 10 takes it a step further. Widgets will be accessible through a Smart Stack, accessed by simply turning the Digital Crown on the home screen. Leveraging machine learning, the Smart Stack will prioritize the most relevant widgets, such as a running countdown timer or an impending calendar appointment. Additionally, the widget stack will offer shortcuts for commonly used complications like timers, stopwatch, and music playback controls. This redesign aims to declutter the Apple Watch’s home screen while also improving battery life.
Another significant update in watchOS 10 is the redesign of apps to take advantage of the larger screens found on devices like the Apple Watch Series 8 and Apple Watch Ultra. With larger physical wearables and smaller bezels around the display, Apple is promising a redesigned interface for apps like Weather, Stocks, Maps, and Messages. These redesigned apps will provide users with more information at a glance. Furthermore, third-party developers, such as the NBA, will have access to the redesigned interface, allowing them to present additional information about current games being played.
Apple has always positioned its devices as tools for improving users’ health, and the Apple Watch has been at the forefront of this strategy. Accordingly, watchOS 10 brings notable fitness and health tracking improvements. For cycling enthusiasts, the Cycling app will now sync with Bluetooth biking cadence sensors, providing real-time information on power output and heart rate. The Hiking app receives updates for compass and map features, including the display of the device’s last known location with cellular connectivity as an automatic waypoint, as well as a Last Emergency Call Waypoint that highlights where the SOS emergency rescue feature can be activated. In addition, watchOS 10 introduces new APIs for workouts, granting developers access to the high-frequency motion data captured by the Apple Watch Series 8 and Apple Watch Ultra’s motion sensors.
Expanding beyond physical health, watchOS 10, alongside iOS 17, introduces a new Mindfulness app to track users’ mental health. While there are no sensors capable of automatically detecting a user’s mood or emotions, the Mindfulness app relies on manual feedback from the user. Users will answer specific questions using sliders to indicate how they’re feeling and the intensity of their emotions, enabling them to describe their feelings in more nuanced ways. The app offers discretion and even allows Apple Watch users to scroll through engaging, multidimensional shapes using the Digital Crown to choose their emotions and identify the factors impacting them the most.
Furthermore, Apple continues to provide new watch faces with each update. In watchOS 10, two new watch faces are introduced. The Palette watch face portrays time using a wide range of colors through three overlapping layers. As time progresses, the colors on the display shift accordingly. Another new watch face features the beloved cartoon character Snoopy from the Peanuts series. Snoopy and his companion, Woodstock, interact with each other and the watch hands. They even react to weather conditions or become active when the user starts a workout.
Lastly, as part of the forthcoming iOS 17 update, iPhone users will have the ability to record video voicemail messages when attempting to FaceTime contacts who are unavailable. In conjunction with this feature, watchOS 10 allows Apple Watch