With the landmark watchOS 10 being unveiled at WWDC in June, all eyes will be on the Apple Watch to see what’s in store for the popular wearable. And according to the latest report, Apple has no intention of disappointing.
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reports that Apple is making “fundamental changes to how the device works” with a new focus on widgets as the main part of the interface. This new widget implementation combines the old Glances feature (which disappeared in watchOS 3) and the iPhone-style widgets introduced in iOS 14. The rumor is similar to the recent render shared by Analyst941 on Twitter.
The user interface will reportedly be similar to the Siri watch face, which displays up-to-date information based on your location, time of day, and more. Gurman says that a set of widgets will appear on the screen, and the crown button is used to scroll through them, displaying dynamically updated information. Gurman also notes that this new watchOS UI is similar to Smart Stack in iOS and iPadOS.
The change is a major departure from the app-based UI currently in use, and Gurman admits the possibility that Apple could make it an optional UI for the user “at least initially.” The UI is standard, but it also doesn’t want to confuse users used to the watchOS interface.
Gurman notes that watchOS apps haven’t caught on: “According to Apple, there are fewer than a million monthly users in the region compared to 101 million iPhone users.” I always thought the app-based UI was inefficient on the Apple Watch – navigating between apps to get what you need is a pain on a device with such a small screen. Most people use the Apple Watch for quick access to data, and a widget-based user interface that provides easy access to multiple data points seems like the best way to go.
Last week, Gurman revealed that Apple is working on a project codenamed “Quartz” that will be an “AI instructor” for health and wellness that runs on the iPhone and Apple Watch. This service is scheduled for next year, although it’s possible that Apple could unveil it at WWDC, but Gurman said that Apple may also decide to delay the presentation of the project.