WWDC23: WatchOS 10 Is a “Milestone Update” for Apple Watches

Congratulations on the 10th anniversary of WatchOS, I guess.

During last week’s World Wide Developer’s Conference (WWDC), Apple announced a series of updates for their newer devices, including their watches. WatchOS 10 is an important update because it reached a milestone.

Before you read on, know which Apple Watches are eligible for WatchOS 10.

  • ALL Apple Watch Series 4 or later paired with iPhone XS or newer, running iOS 17


One of the most important aspects of WatchOS 10 is the new design. Now, apps such as Weather, Stocks, Maps, Messages, and the World Clock have been redesigned to fully utilize the display. In addition, a new feature called Smart Stack has been added. This allows users to see detailed events and information as they scroll using the digital crown on any watch face. For example, Weather will show forecasts at that time of day and Wallet will show boarding passes.

“With watchOS 10, we’ve redesigned the interface, allowing users to experience Apple Watch like never before,” said Alan Dye, Apple’s vice president of Human Interface Design. “The update gives users the information that matters most to them at a glance, simplified navigation, and a new visual language that takes full advantage of the Apple Watch display. We’re also introducing the Smart Stack, offering quick access to proactive and relevant information, right from the watch face.”

The new design makes it simpler for developers to update their apps and utilize the watch’s display fully. Control Center is also now accessible using the side button so it’s easier to get around it.


Of course, it can’t be a new update without adding flair and flavour to the watches. So, compatible Apple Watches have new watch faces including Snoopy from the popular Peanuts comic strip. There are also new Apple-designed watch faces which are called Palettes

Similar to Google’s Material You, the new Palette interface has overlapping layers that switch depending on the time of day.


Apple introduced new features curated for hikers and cyclists, as well as new features that benefit mental and physical health. For instance, the “Cycling” activity now includes schedules, workout sessions, calorimetry for tracking calories, and fall detection while the “Hiking” activity now complements with the built-in compass in which users can set start and end points for their session. Also, WatchOS now enables watches to connect to cycling-related accessories via Bluetooth such as power meters and speed sensors.

In Mental Health, the new WatchOS now has similar features to the Health App in iOS 17 wherein users can log their daily moods and emotions. Users can scroll via the digital crown to find more ways to interact with the Health App.

In Vision Health, Apple has introduced measures to prevent nearsightedness. Using the ambient light sensor, compatible Apple Watches can measure your usage of the watch. They can view this information using the new Health App provided that their watches are connected through their iPads or iPhones.

Another feature included for vision health is Screen Distance. It uses the same depth camera capabilities intended for FaceID to notify users to move away their devices 12 inches from their faces.


  • NameDrop, a feature introduced on iOS 17 now works for Apple Watches. This allows users to share their contact information by linking two iPhones together.
  • Offline Maps also made its way to WatchOS 10.
  • Group FaceTime Audio is now available. In addition, users can now initiate playback for video messages which can be directly viewed on an Apple Watch.
  • New APIs have been developed for workout and fitness app developers. This allows developers to fully take advantage of the motion sensors used on newer Apple Watches, such as the Apple Watch Series 8.

Source: Apple Newsroom