It has been almost a decade since the first Apple Watch was introduced, and the watchOS software has already changed forms a few times. This year, Apple is planning another (arguably minor) overhaul to the smartwatch experience.
Apple announced watchOS 10 today, the next major software update for the Apple Watch. The core experience is the same, with your watch face on the main screen, other faces available on left and right swipes, and notifications from a top swipe. However, turning the digital crown will now reveal the Smart Stack — a scrollable list of widgets that adapt to you. It’s like an upgraded version of the Siri watch face, but compatible with any watch face.
Apple said in a press release, “A new Smart Stack contains widgets that display timely information that adapts to the user’s context and can be revealed with a simple turn of the Digital Crown from any watch face. For example, at the beginning of the day, Weather will show the forecast, or, when traveling, the Smart Stack will show boarding passes from Wallet. Calendar and Reminders will reshuffle to the top to display upcoming meetings or tasks, and apps that are running, such as Podcasts, will also move up so they are readily available. Smart Stack also enables users to enjoy a beautiful watch face, like Portraits, while still offering a way to quickly access information they care about.”
Apple is also updating most of the core Watch apps with a tweaked design language. The primary goal is showing more information on screen at once, without the need to constantly scroll to see everything. The built-in Weather, Stocks, Home, Maps, Messages, World Clock, and other apps will have visual updates in watchOS 10.
The upcoming update will also include new watch faces, improved support for cycling and hiking workouts, and more features in the Maps app. It should arrive later this year.