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Apple made significant updates to watchOS 10 during this year’s WWDC event, focusing on introducing a more widget-centric approach to the Apple Watch software. Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming release.
Highlights from WWDC 2023
While Apple’s Vision Pro headset stole the spotlight at WWDC, it took time for the company to reveal what it had in store for its major operating systems. WatchOS 10, hailed as a landmark release, introduces many changes, including redesigned apps, enhanced fitness features for cyclists and hikers, mental health improvements, and more.
Here is a guide: How to Install watchOS 10 Beta: A Step-by-Step Guide
Widgets Take Center Stage
The standout feature of watchOS 10 is Apple’s revamped approach to widgets, making them more easily accessible with a simple turn of the Digital Crown. The Smart Stack allows users to access a list of widgets and view relevant information, such as weather updates and upcoming appointments. Major Apple Watch apps, including Weather, Stocks, Home, Maps, Messages, and World Clock, have been optimized to offer more convenient information on the larger screen. Apple has also provided developers with a design language to ensure consistency across third-party and native apps. The control center can be accessed anytime by pressing the side button while double-clicking the digital crown brings up recently used apps.
New Watch Faces
watchOS 10 introduces two new watch faces: Palette and Snoopy. The palette offers an artistic display of time using three overlapping layers that change color throughout the day. Peanuts feature beloved comic book characters Snoopy and Woodstock, who interact with the clock hands, respond to local weather conditions, and even train alongside the user.
Fitness Enhancements for Cycling
Cycling enthusiasts will benefit from enhanced fitness features in watchOS 10. The Workout app now provides more data than ever, including cadence, speed, and power. Bluetooth accessories can add data points, and the Power Zones training window appears when a power meter is detected. Cycling activities can be displayed live on the iPhone, offering easy access to speed, heart rate zones, and altitude data. This makes it more convenient for riders to view their information without constantly checking their wrist.
Improved Hiking Experience
WatchOS 10 introduces several new features for outdoor enthusiasts to enhance hiking activities. The Last Cellular Connection Waypoint evaluates the last location with cellular connectivity, ensuring users can make calls and check messages. The elevation view displays the altitude of the route, and waypoints traveled. Users can search for nearby trails, view topographic maps with contour lines, and access information such as trail names, length, time, difficulty, and more.
Enhanced Mental Health Resources
Apple is prioritizing mental health with additional resources in watchOS 10. The Mindfulness feature allows users to record their emotions and daily mood. The Health app in iOS 17 provides insights into factors that may influence a user’s state of mind, such as associations and lifestyle factors like sleep and exercise. Depression and anxiety scores can be tracked in the Health app and shared with healthcare providers in PDF format.
Vision Health and Screen Distance
To promote healthy vision, watchOS 10 introduces vision health resources. The Apple Watch’s light sensor measures the time spent in daylight, which can be viewed in the Health app. In the “Family Setup” section, parents can access data through Health Sharing. The Screen Distance feature uses the TrueDepth camera on iPhones and iPads to encourage users to maintain a safe distance between their faces and the screen.
Additional Features and Improvements
watchOS 10 brings a range of other enhancements and features. Apple Fitness+ offers custom plans, allowing users to personalize workout preferences, create workout stacks, and prioritize music or coach voices with Audio Focus. Corporate changes include hands-free options and improved fall detection for worker safety. Other features include workout APIs for developers, offline map downloads, video message playback for FaceTime, group FaceTime audio calls, contact sharing with NameDrop, and medication reminders in the Health app.
Apple plans to release watchOS 10 in September alongside its other operating systems. While beta versions of features may be available for testing, it’s important to note that not all features will be immediately accessible. Some features may be added in subsequent updates after the initial release.
Stay tuned for watchOS 10’s official release, as it promises to bring significant enhancements and exciting new features to the Apple Watch experience.