Mon. Sep 25th, 2023

Earlier this year at WWDC, Apple announced the watchOS 10 update for the Apple Watch lineup, which looked like the most significant software overhaul for the smartwatches in years. Today, watchOS 10 is starting to roll out to Apple Watch devices, at the same time as iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 arrive on iPhones and iPads, respectively.

The first major upgrade in watchOS 10 is the “Smart Stack,” which functions a bit like the old Siri watch face, but with some inspiration from widgets and live activities on the iPhone. It’s a list of widgets that are sorted based on what the watch thinks might be most helpful. For example, the Wallet widget with your boarding passes might be the first widget while you’re travelling, or the Calendar and Reminders widget might appear the top when you have an event coming up. The Smart Stack appears when you start turning the Digital Crown (the watch’s dial) on any watch face, so unlike with the old Siri-based feature, you can keep using your favorite watch faces.

Snoopy watch face and Compass app on watchOS 10

Apple has also introduced a new layout for many apps on the Apple Watch, with an emphasis on packing more information onto the screen. The Weather, Stocks, Home, Maps, Messages, World Clock, and some other included apps now display more buttons and data without scrolling. This is likely to take full advantage of the Apple Watch Ultra and its larger screen, but the apps should also work well on smaller Apple Watch devices.

The watchOS 10 update also adds a new Snoopy watch face based on the Peanuts comics, as well as Palette, Solar Analog, and a Nike Globe. There’s also a “Modular Ultra” face exclusive to the Apple Watch Ultra, which uses the larger screen space to display even more information than the regular Modular watch face. There are a few other changes as well, including offline support in Apple Maps (when you are within range of the paired iPhone with the map area downloaded), Now Playing controls when you are near a HomePod speaker, and the ability to open a FaceTime video message.

Apple is rolling out watchOS 10 starting today for the Apple Watch Series 4 or later. It requires an iPhone Xs or newer running iOS 17, so if you haven’t updated your phone already, you’ll have to do that first.

Source: Apple Newsroom

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By John P.

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