The watchOS 10 is available for eligible Apple Watch models. In this article, we'll cover all the essential details, from its fresh user interface design to the latest widgets, and everything else that's headed to your Apple Watch through watchOS 10.
The new watchOS 10 introduces a refreshed navigation experience. It might seem complex initially, but it becomes intuitive as you get used to it. One of the first things you'll likely notice is the increased content on the display. This means fewer clicks are needed to get where you want.
The action button now displays smart stack features, providing additional information directly on your wrist. Contact information is now seamlessly transmitted using the NameDrop feature, and the design of most apps has been revamped.
- Read also: The best Apple Watch you can buy in 2023
For cycling enthusiasts, Apple has introduced Power Zones, along with support for external Bluetooth sensors for cadence, speed and—you guessed it—power. Additionally, if you're a Fitness+ subscriber, there are new features just for you. For those into outdoor activities, watchOS 10 now offers topographic maps on your wrist, which can be incredibly useful for hiking.
Since I began using the public beta, I've felt that watchOS 10 is Apple's most significant software update for the Apple Watch. Believe me, the changes are prominently evident — something I've felt was missing from the Apple Watch for a long time.
During WWDC 2023 in June, Apple unveiled watchOS 10 and released its developer beta. On July 12, Apple Watch users received the new OS features through the public beta. The stable version of the software was officially released on September 17.
Rumors about the introduction of widgets have now been confirmed with their arrival. Now, by swiping up on the screen, you can access the stack that showcases the most crucial widgets or complications. And on the new Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2, you can access the stack with the Double Tap feature, so by tapping your index finger and thumb together twice.
This works from any watch face, and thanks to machine learning, the stack shows you the currently relevant widgets at any time, for example, the timer, tasks, or meetings.
The stack can also be adjusted by you if you want to have a certain piece of information quickly in view at all times. You can add the desired tool with a long press on the crown.
Apple has also given some apps a new design. The World Clock, for example, gets colors that are linked to the time, and the Activities app has also been redesigned.
The redesign makes better use of the display space, so details are displayed larger. There are also two entirely new Watch faces. One with three color layers that change with the time of day—and an adorable watch face with Snoopy and Woodstock.
Apple has also thought about sports fans, and especially bicycle fans. Thanks to Bluetooth, you can connect the Watch with bike sensors and get more data from your bike. A new value called "Functional Threshold Power" lets you track "Power Zones". For live activity, the display on the iPhone has been enlarged so that it now takes up the entire screen when you mount your iPhone on your bike.
For hiking, there's now a feature that shows you waypoints where you last had network reception. There is also a new topographic map that takes altitude into account. Apple also brings improvements to golf and tennis, for example. Sensors detect your hand movements so precisely that you can optimize your golf swing or your serve in tennis.
With two focal points—mental health and our eyes—Apple covers the health area. In the Mindfulness app, you can privately track your mental state. Noting the reason you're in a certain state should help you better understand and categorize how you're feeling.
There are also questionnaires for classification, such as those used by doctors. Thanks to these questions, you can learn to classify whether you should seek professional help. In addition, there are further articles on the topic of mental health that you can call up from the app. You can also use the new feature without the Apple Watch on your iPhone.
Apple is also concerned about our eyes. To help combat myopia in children, you can track whether the kids have had enough daylight. In addition, "Screen Distance" can detect whether we have been sitting too close to the display of our iPhones or iPads for too long—and we get a corresponding hint.
Downloading and installing the latest version of watchOS is fairly straightforward. However, always remember to create a backup first. Here's a quick tutorial you can follow on your iPhone:
- Back up your Apple Watch sending your data to iCloud or your computer before installing a beta version.
- Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.
- On Settings, click on General > Software Update.
- If available, you will see a message to install watchOS 10. Tap on Install.
- Enter your passcode and agree to the terms and conditions.
- Your Apple Watch will reboot.
Once your Apple Watch has rebooted, you will be running the watchOS 10.
Despite the rumors, Apple continued to support the Apple Watch Series 4 with watchOS 10 later this year, maintaining compatibility with the same models as watchOS 9. Here is the complete list:
- Apple Watch Series 4
- Apple Watch Series 5
- Apple Watch SE
- Apple Watch Series 6
- Apple Watch Series 7
- Apple Watch Series 8 (review)
- Apple Watch SE 2022 (review)
- Apple Watch Ultra (review)
- Apple Watch Series 9
- Apple Watch Ultra 2
What do you think of watchOS 10 and the new features? Please let us know below in the comments.
Article updated on September, with additional information about the watchOS 10 availability.