Apple has given us the first official look at watchOS 10, the software that will arrive on your current Apple Watch — and the next versions to be announced — later in 2023.
The software has been shown off on stage at this year’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC 2023) keynote, with various features being highlighted during the presentation. So what’s new?
Apple’s watchOS 10 is getting a significant visual update, with most of the commonly accessed standard apps being redesigned — including the Weather app, Stocks, Messages, World Clock, the Apple Maps app, and the main Phone app. The Activity app will be redesigned with new sharing features, more Apple Fitness+ integration, and a better-looking trophy case.
If you use Smart Stack to organize widgets on your iPhone, this same feature is coming to the Apple Watch, allowing you to stack key widgets together on the watch face. You twist the Digital Crown to view the different widgets, and the way they are organized will be dynamic, meaning in the morning, the weather widget will appear first, and the calendar will move to the top when you have an upcoming meeting.
There are various new watch faces in
But perhaps the best new watch face is the introduction of two new characters — Snoopy and Woodstock. The Peanuts characters join Mickey Mouse and the Toy Story family on the Apple Watch and will interact with the hands on the watch face, react to the weather, and even motivate you when you start a workout.
Apple has enhanced its fitness tracking feature for cyclists in
The golf and Tennis modes will also be improved, where the Apple Watch will be able to track rapid changes in direction and speed, and this data can be accessed by developers to improve gold and tennis modes.
The Apple Maps app will also see an update with a new topographic view with elevation, waypoints, and a search feature. You’ll also be able to review information about hiking routes before you leave, including information on the difficulty, elevation, and distance. The topographic map will first be available in the U.S., with other regions to follow. If you use Maps on your iPhone, its offline features — navigation, arrival time, places, and more — will be available on the Apple Watch with
For hikers, the compass app has been improved to show new waypoints. The first marks the spot where you last had cellular connectivity, so you can head back should you need it, while a second marker sets the point where you can make SOS calls using any carrier, not just your own. Additionally, the compass view will be available in a 3D view.
What’s interesting is Apple will introduce personal assessments usually used in clinics, where you can enter details and see your own risk of treatable conditions like depression. What’s more, it will guide you to resources to help out based on your risk. This will also be part of the Health app on the iPhone with iOS 17.
The Apple Watch will be used in an unusual way to help reduce the risk of myopia, or nearsightedness, in children. The Apple Watch will use the ambient light sensor to measure the amount of time kids spend in daylight, which is important to help avoid the onset of myopia. If your child doesn’t have an iPhone, the data is visible in the Family Sharing app.
It’s also going to help better judge the distance between you and a device’s screen. A warning will appear on an iPhone and iPad that suggests moving further back from it if it senses you’re too close, again helping reduce the risk of eye strain and problems later in life.
The NameDrop feature from
The FaceTime app gets Apple Watch support, where you can watch video messages on the watch’s screen and also take part in FaceTime Audio calls too. An update to the Medications app will send a reminder if you haven’t confirmed an action, like taking a pill, after 30 minutes, while Apple Fitness+ will get Custom Plans.
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