Apple has been painstakingly working on improving the user experience on the Apple Watch. To make things better, Apple unveils the next version of watchOS – watchOS 10. The new operating system gives a major overhaul to the watch. watchOS 10 dawns a number of useful features including a new Smart Stack, redesigned system apps, new watch faces, health features, a new way to access the control center, and more.
If you own an Apple Watch and want to know the complete list of changes as well as eligibility and availability of watchOS 10, then you are in the right place. Read along to know watchOS 10 features, supported devices, release date, and more.
watchOS 10 Supported Devices
The eligibility criteria for the watchOS 10 update remains the same as last year, and Apple has not made any changes to it this year. This means that a wide range of Apple Watch users will have the opportunity to try out the new features and enhancements introduced in watchOS 10. If you own an Apple Watch Series 4 or a later model, you will be able to receive the watchOS 10 update for free on your device.
Here is the complete list of Apple Watches that are compatible with watchOS 10:
- Apple Watch Ultra
- Apple Watch Series 8
- Apple Watch Series 7
- Apple Watch SE
- Apple Watch Series 6
- Apple Watch Series 5
- Apple Watch Series 4
If you own any of these Apple Watch and own iPhone XS, iPhone XR, or later models running on iOS 17, then you will receive the watchOS 10 update for free.
watchOS 10 Release Date
Apple officially shows off the watchOS 10 at its annual developer conference – WWDC. Right after the announcement, the company released the developer beta for testers. If you are a developer or simply want to try out the new features, then you can download the developer beta update on your watch.
Note: Developer Beta builds are not made for daily use, I recommend you to wait for public beta at least.
Apple said the public beta for watchOS 10 will be available next month. The public beta will be more stable for daily use, so, you can wait for a few days.
Talking about the public release, then the watchOS 10 will be released in the fall. Just like every year, Apple will share the release dates at its next iPhone and Apple Watch launch event.
watchOS 10 Features
watchOS 10 is a significant upgrade for Apple Watch. The company has redesigned over a dozen of system apps, bringing new Smart Stack, watch faces, health features, and more. Here are the complete details of each feature.
Apple gives a major overhaul to the system apps available on the Apple Watch, new apps utilize more space of the display. Apple’s vice president of Human Interface Design, Alan Dye said, “The update gives users the information that matters most to them at a glance, simplified navigation, and a new visual language that takes full advantage of the Apple Watch display. We’re also introducing the Smart Stack, offering quick access to proactive and relevant information, right from the watch face.”
Apple Watch apps including Weather, Stocks, Home, Maps, Messages, World Clock, and others, now use more of the Apple display. Here’s the preview of some of the new default apps running on the watchOS 10 developer beta.
watchOS 10 brings widgets to the Apple Watch, offering users convenient access to information. These widgets are displayed in a carousel format, which can be easily accessed by rotating the digital crown. The new screen that houses these widgets is called Smart Stack. The new Smart Stack works great with watch faces like Portraits and offers all important details in the widgets. You can easily play or resume music from the widget, check the weather, check boarding passes from wallet, calendar, reminders, and more.
New Way to Access Control Panel
As turning the digital crown is now opening the Smart Stack, there’s a new way to access the control panel. You can access it easily by pressing the side button. The user interface of the control center remains the same as we have on the previous version of watchOS.
RIP Honey Comb View
Apple brings a revamp to the fruitless Honey Comb aka Grid View, the new user interface is more useful, users can now easily scroll between apps by turning the digital crown or with a swipe gesture.
New Watch Faces
Apple introduces two new watch faces – Palette and Snoopy. Apple says, “The Palette face depicts time in a wide variety of colors using three distinct overlapping layers, and as the time changes, the colors on the display also shift.” Whereas the second watch face is the Snoopy and Woodstock, the characters interact and play with the watch hands or react to weather conditions.
Apple brings improvements to Cycling, letting users connect any Bluetooth-enabled bike accessories such as power meters, speed sensors, and cadence sensors. The best part is, user can mount their iPhone to the bike and see all important metrics including Heart Rate Zones, Elevation, Race Route, Cycling Speed View, and more.
Hiking is another health feature that gets an upgrade. Compass app receives useful upgrades including the three-dimensional view of where you have been using elevation views. The next change is the introduction of two new waypoints – a last cellular connection waypoint and a last emergency call waypoint. Apple also adds a new topographic map featuring contour lines and more.
For better mental health, users can conveniently long their momentary emotions and daily moods in the Mindfulness app. Also, check the insights in the Health app on iPhone and see the factors including time spent in daylight, sleep, exercise, and mindful minutes.
To reduce the risk of nearsightedness, Apple Watch now measures the time spent in daylight using the ambient sensor on the watch. As a parent, you can check the insights in the health app with Family Setup and encourage your child to spend more time outdoors.
NameDrop is another change coming with watchOS 10 and iOS 17, which let users quickly share contact information by bringing the Apple Watch and iPhone closer. Offline maps on iPhone can be used on the watch too, Apple Fitness+ introduces custom plans, and more.
watchOS 10 Developer Beta
As I said earlier, currently, watchOS 10 is available for developers, if you are a tester and want to try out the watchOS 10 on your Apple Watch, then you can check out our dedicated guide on how you can download and install watchOS 10 dev beta on your Watch.