Apple is often accused of charging too much for its products, but some of the company’s most important releases are free. For example, annual major software updates for iPhone, Mac, iPad, and Apple Watch that unlock many new features at no additional cost.
In fact, this year’s watchOS 10 software update (Cost: $0) is expected to be significantly more significant than this year’s new hardware. The Apple Watch Series 9 (probable price: $399 and up) has been labeled “all but essential” while the new OS is expected to bring “major improvements, including an updated interface.”
This article is our deep dive into watchOS 10 where we analyze leaks and rumors to bring you the best information available on the release schedule, hardware compatibility, and a range of interface changes and new features. WWDC can’t come soon enough!
April 27 update: A new rumor claims that watchOS 10 could allow the Apple Watch to sync with multiple Apple devices.
watchOS 10 release date: When will watchOS 10 be released?
watchOS 10 will be announced at WWDC 2023 on June 5, undergoing a lengthy beta testing process, and will finally be available for official public download in the fall.
It’s worth noting that Apple hasn’t announced any of this (besides the WWDC date), but the company’s OS updates follow a predictable pattern. Each summer, Apple announces new major versions of watchOS, iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and tvOS. He demos some or all of them at the WWDC meeting – the timing of the stage varies depending on what Apple thinks is most interesting to the audience – and then the beta testing begins. Final releases usually arrive in September (watchOS 9 was released on September 9 last year), around the same time as the new iPhones and Apple Watches.
Here is the schedule we expect for watchOS 10:
- June 5: watchOS 10 unveiled at the WWDC keynote.
- June 5: The first developer beta has been released.
- July: The first public beta has been released.
- June-September: A series of beta versions are released, gradually approaching the final product.
- September: watchOS 10.0 has been released to the public.
watchOS 10 compatibility: Which Apple Watches will be compatible with watchOS 10?
We expect watchOS 10 to run on the same devices as watchOS 9: Apple Watch Series 4 and later. But we won’t know for sure until WWDC.
Recently, Apple has reduced the list of compatible models every two years. In 2018, watchOS 5 dropped support for the first generation Apple Watch; series 1 and 2 are dropped in watchOS 7 in 2020; and in 2022, watchOS 9 dropped the Series 3. That’s why we think watchOS 10 will refrain from swinging the ax and Series 4 will live another year, though it may not get access to the full set of new features.
Of course, each version of watchOS also has a list of compatible iPhones: for now, every Apple Watch must have a paired iPhone running iOS 17. In 2019, watchOS 6 ended support for the iPhone 5, 6, and 6 Plus. ; the rest of the iPhones lasted another three years, but in 2022, watchOS 9 dropped the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, 7 and 7 Plus, and the 2016 iPhone SE. After this bloodbath, we suspect the iPhone 8 and later will be compatible with a new version of watchOS again this year.
watchOS 10: How to install the beta and full version
Once watchOS 10 becomes a reality, installing it on your Apple Watch will be easy. Just open the Watch app on your companion iPhone, make sure you’re in the My Watch tab, then navigate to General > Software update and follow the instructions on the screen. You may need to update your iPhone first.
You’ll also be able to try out the watchOS 10 beta until the fall. To do this, you need to join the Apple beta program and understand that some features of your watch may fail. Apple is streamlining the beta testing process in watchOS 9.5 so you only need to sign into your Apple ID to get betas on all your devices, and you can easily turn them off if you want to stop getting them. At the same Software update tab, you will see a new watchOS 10 beta tab that will let you switch from watchOS 9 updates to watchOS 10 updates.
watchOS 10: new feature rumors
The new version of watchOS will include many small tweaks designed to improve the reliability of existing features, but the real focus of Apple’s announcement will be on new things you’ll soon be able to do with your Apple Watch and new ways to interact. with this. Here are the new features and major changes we expect in watchOS 10.
User comfort with a digital interface depends not only on familiarity, but also on the principles of sound design, and any major change in this area is bound to generate resistance; it’s something Apple experienced with the radically redesigned and initially unpopular iOS 7 back in 2013. But Mark Gurman, the whistleblower and analyst who predicted big things for the Apple Watch this year, was careful to use the word. updated rather than new to describe the watchOS 10 interface. It will be different, but it doesn’t look like it will be completely different.
More details on what this would look like came out on April 18 when a 941 analyst on Twitter (Anonymous-AS on the Macrumors forums) predicted a “redesigned home screen layout/grid” and said it would be “much easier to use, navigate , and act more familiar to iOS, including folders.” The forecast was accompanied by renders showing very large icons arranged in straight rows and columns (as opposed to the currently used tiled honeycomb pattern that saves space) and a rough image of how folders would work.
To be fair, the current honeycomb grid is awkward to use because the icons are small and randomly spaced, and their proximity to each other makes it easy to open the wrong app. The list view is the best option for most Apple Watch owners, but having larger and more regularly spaced icons seems like a win, even if the idea of folders on such a small screen is less appealing.
But be aware, first of all, that this is not confirmed: the Analyst 941 has made some hits recently with accurate predictions, but doesn’t have a great track record to justify much credibility. And secondly, even if the general theory is correct, the details and execution are still up in the air. The rough renders certainly look a bit clunky, but the Apple designers could have done something a little more polished. But once we get used to it, it can be a very user friendly interface.
Health and other new applications
Apple likes to offer a brand new app as the headline of an OS update, like Breathe in watchOS 3 and Walkie Talkie in watchOS 5, but we haven’t heard any rumors of anything like this this year. We’re hearing that Apple may be bringing the existing Health app to the Apple Watch… although the origin of this theory is unclear. (At the time of writing, BGR confidently states that Apple is “expected to bring a Health app to the Apple Watch” without citing the source; meanwhile, the Tom’s Guide refers to it as like It could happen, and we wonder if wires have crossed somewhere.) Still, it would make sense for the Apple Watch to get a centralized health dashboard given its growing centrality to Apple’s health and fitness efforts.
Pairing multiple devices
In accordance with Analyst941 on TwitterApple is looking to eliminate one of the biggest limitations of the Apple Watch: device syncing. As it stands, the Apple Watch must be paired with an iPhone and only one iPhone at a time. Analyst941, who leaked accurate information to Apple in the past, this feature will allow the Apple Watch to “sync multiple iOS/iPadOS/Mac devices and no longer be tied to a single iPhone.” Leaker isn’t sure if this is a watchOS 10 feature or planned for a future release, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed that it’s included in watchOS 10.
There are certain features that Apple regularly adds to their smartwatches every year. For example, watchOS 10 will almost certainly add new faces, and there will be new complications for the faces we already have. There’s a good chance the Workout app will get a new routine or two. Sleep tracking is likely to be changed slightly as it still lags behind a similar feature in Fitbit.
None of them are big enough to head the keynote as they are expected. But small, iterative improvements are still an important part of the cost of Apple’s free annual updates.
With no spring event taking place earlier this year, WWDC 2023 is set to be a major event with many important announcements expected.
In terms of software, watchOS 10 will be accompanied by four other operating system updates, the most significant of which are likely to be iOS 17 (which may see an unpublished download on iPhone for the first time) and macOS 14 for Mac.
But there should also be new equipment. Apple would like to build the event around its long-awaited mixed reality headset, the first in an entirely new ecosystem of products that could eventually surpass the iPhone in importance, though the word “might” carries a lot of weight for this problematic situation. and often shelved project.
New Macs are also in development. There may be as many as three new MacBooks, including the new 15-inch MacBook Air, and Apple fans dare to hope that the company finally brings the Mac Pro into Apple’s silicon realm.