Apple Is Rethinking The Smartwatch With WatchOS 10

Apple Is Rethinking The Smartwatch With WatchOS 10
© is given in reverse order

With watchOS 10, Apple is improving the performance of smartwatches. The company revealed the new OS update during its packed WWDC 2023 keynote, but the changes here deserve special attention.

The Apple Watch is in a different place than when it launched. The first smartwatches tried to be everything from mobile phones to fitness bracelets and quirky communication devices. Apple periodically narrows things down to health, fitness, notifications, and random apps, but watchOS 10 makes things more complicated in ways that Wear OS fans are used to.

Widgets are back.

WatchOS 10 is rolling out to all devices. Like the gadgets introduced in iOS, Apple Watches also have access to a variety of information that can only be seen through the digital crown. It's in a new "Smart Stack" that intelligently pulls up widgets based on your most used apps, current time, or current location. Another way to think about it is that Siri watchOS has become the standard way Apple expects you to move the smartwatch.

This change highlights the watchOS list or app tile for apps, which should be the most useful part of the widget form. This doesn't completely abandon the WatchOS App Store, but it does show that Apple expects you to interact with the Smart Stack first and use it as an app launcher, rather than the app icon-driven way it used to be.

Large screen application

© is given in reverse order

The Apple Watch Ultra offers a larger screen size for watchOS and less experience outside of the larger watch face to use it. Smartwatch screens tend to get cooler just like smartphones, so it makes sense that watchOS 10 tries to accommodate that.

Almost all Apple apps are being updated to use the full watch screen instead of relying on a black background and borders. To quote Apple's summary, the watchOS app itself is pretty much an iOS widget. The Weather app moves to the edge of the screen and displays animated wallpapers, first seen in iOS and iPadOS versions, the Music app displays album art and menus of Bluetooth-connected devices, and the Messages app shows your default contacts. It's a subtle difference, but one that makes the Apple Watch more data-intensive and, in theory, more usable.

Health and Fitness

© is given in reverse order

Apple has made dozens of changes to the Apple Watch's health, safety and fitness features, but the biggest are new topographical maps and an elevation display for pedestrians, and the ability to record your "mood" to track emotional well-being. Mindfulness apps and ways to track your time throughout the day using the Apple Watch's ambient light sensor.

Official date

WatchOS 10 will launch later this fall, possibly with a new watch face. A beta version of the update is available today and should enter official beta this summer.

Apple Watch (Series 3 LTE) review.

Post a Comment