Apple announced watchOS 10, its “milestone” next-gen smartwatch platform today at WWDC. As in past years, it’ll be available for developers to start tinkering with today, while a public beta is expected sometime next month. Users can expect to see the final version arrive later this fall alongside the forthcoming Apple Watch Series 9.
Widgets are back on the menu, friends. You’ll be able to see a “stack” of them in one place that you can then scroll through for quick and easy access to information. It’s a major shift in how users have thus far interacted with the Apple Watch.
Another shift is how users will use the watch’s buttons. Currently, pressing the digital crown launches the honeycomb app grid or a list, depending on how you’ve configured your watch. However, watchOS 10 will instead let you open widgets.
It’s not surprising that Apple looks like it’s focusing on software updates for its smartwatches in 2023. Last year featured not one but three new Apple Watches, so it’s not really time for another massive hardware overhaul, and rumor has it MicroLED Apple Watches won’t arrive until 2024 or 2025. Plus, Series watches have been getting incremental hardware updates for ages now — we don’t yet know whether the Ultra will be updated yearly, and the budget second-gen SE is less than a year old.