Apple today announced the latest version of its Apple Watch operating system, watchOS 10. Dubbed a "milestone" release, watchOS 10 redesigns key software elements.
The biggest change is widgets and the Smart Stack. A turn of the digital crown will reveal your Smart Stack, which is a collection of widgets. These widgets can encompass anything from the music you're listening to, your calendar, reminders, activity, the forecast, or even boarding passes. You'll also be able to make a custom widget with your favourite complications.
The idea is to create a quick way to access information without necessarily needing to build a cluttered watch face. Widget order in the smart stack will be intelligently prioritised. If you've started a timer, it will be the first widget in the stack, for example.
As part of the changes, Apple is remapping buttons. Tapping the side button will open the Control Centre in watchOS 10, while a double tap of the crown reverts back to any apps recently used.
Apple Watch apps are also being redesigned to use more of the screen and make them more glanceable. Third-party developers will also be able to use the new design language for their own apps.
On the fitness front, watchOS 10 has new features for cyclists and hikers. If you're cycling with both your Watch and your iPhone, you'll get your workout as a live activity on the iPhone which can take up the full screen. And when paired with Bluetooth-enabled cycling accessories, the Watch is able to provide new metrics like cycling power and cadence.
When it comes to hiking, the Compass app will automatically add waypoints for when you last had mobile connectivity and when you were last able to make an emergency call. And starting in the United States, Apple Maps will get topographical maps with more specific trail information.
Other new features include the option to log your mood in the Mindfulness app, the ability to rack the time you spend outside in daylight, and two new watch faces (including one that features Snoopy).
We expect to see watchOS 10 drop in September this year, with a developer beta available from today. A public beta will be available in July. watchOS 10 will be available on the Watch Series 4 and newer.
watchOS 10 was announced alongside iOS 17.