Apple is now rolling out watchOS 10, the latest big feature upgrade for its smartwatches. Announced at the WWDC 2023 conference, watchOS 10 brings redesigned applications, new watch faces, and new health metrics.
What Apple Watch models support watchOS 10?
All Apple Watch models compatible with watchOS 9 can upgrade to watchOS 10. Last year, Apple ditched the old and outdated Series 3 lineup. This time, the compatibility list is unchanged compared with the previous watchOS release. Here is the full list of supported smartwatches:
- Apple Watch Series 4
- Apple Watch Series 5
- Apple Watch Series 6
- Apple Watch Series 7
- Apple Watch Series 8
- Apple Watch SE (1st generation)
- Apple Watch SE (2nd generation)
- Apple Watch Ultra
Note that installing watchOS 10 requires a compatible iPhone running iOS 17 or newer. You cannot upgrade your Apple Watch using a device with iOS 16.
What is new in watchOS 10?
- Reworked stock applications. Apple claims watchOS 10 features inbox applications with "no corner untouched." The OS now uses the entire display to show more content in apps like Weather, Stocks, Home, Maps, Messages, World Clock, Activity, and more.
- Widgets and Smart Stack. You can now get the necessary information on time from any watch face by turning the Digital Crown to display the Smart Stack with widgets. Apple says the Smart Stack lets you "enjoy a beautiful watch face, like Portraits, while still offering a way to quickly access information."
- New watch faces: Snoopy and Palette.
- Hiking improvements. The built-in compass app lets you see a three-dimensional elevation view with the ability to place waypoints with cellular reception or emergency calls. In the US, Apple Watch users with watchOS 10 can discover important details about nearby trails, such as length, time, elevation, difficulty, photos, and more. Finally, there is a new topographic maps view and elevation alerts.
- Cycling improvements. watchOS 10 brings several improvements for cyclists. It can now automatically connect to Bluetooth-enabled accessories to add more data to your workouts, such as cadence, speed, and power. The Apple Watch will estimate and start tracking your power zones upon detecting a power meter. There is also a new full-screen live activity display for cycling tracking from your iPhone.
- Mental Health Improvements. You can use the updated Mindfulness app to track your emotions and daily moods. The Health app on your iPhone will link your mood reports to other vital health metrics to help you identify what might be affecting your mental state.
- Vision Health. With watchOS 10, you can track how much time you spend in daylight. Apple says enough time outdoors can provide additional physical and mental health benefits for all ages. Note that this feature is not available on all watchOS 10-compatible Apple Watch models—it works on the Apple Watch SE (2nd generation), Apple Watch Ultra, and Apple Watch Series 6 and newer.
- Workout APIs for new experiences. The updated motion sensors in the Apple Watch Ultra and Series 8 provide more information about rapid changes in direction and acceleration, allowing developers to create new experience for tracking additional activities, such as golf and tennis.
Other changes in watchOS 10 include enterprise improvements for MDM support, VPN support, offline maps, NameDrop for easy contact sharing, group FaceTime audio calls, video message playback, and follow-up medication reminders.
How to install watchOS 10?
If you own a compatible Apple Watch, update your iPhone to iOS 17 first, then launch the Watch app and navigate to General > Software Update.
Are you updating your Apple Watch today? What new feature or changes excites you the most? Share your thoughts in the comments.