If you have read my blog before, you will probably be aware that I love the Apple Watch and, in particular, the Apple Watch Ultra. I also really loved WatchOS 9. It brought some cool new features to the Apple Watch lineup. So I was, of course, really keen to see what WatchOS 10 is going to bring to the table.
So Last week, I decided to take the plunge and download the Beta version of the new WatchOS 10 to see first-hand what has changed and what is new. Here are some of the features and changes that I have seen and tried so far.
We now have Widgets on the Apple Watch. This means that when you swipe up from the bottom of the screen, you will now see widgets come up in a Smart Stack. You also get a clock and the date visible on the screen, which is a nice touch.
You will have some default apps in your stack already, but you can add and remove them to have the apps you want. You are limited to what seems to be 8 apps in your smart stack, but to be fair, I am not sure that you would need more than that.
To scroll through the apps, you can simply scroll up on the digital crown, or if you prefer, you can swipe through with your finger.
There are a lot of UI changes in this new WatchOS, one of them being there is a new look/layout to the App Home Screen. Rather than having a circular layout that you had to use your finger to navigate, it’s now a vertical, more list-like layout in a way whilst still looking familiar.
How you get the Home Screen has also changed. You press on the Digital Crown now, and this will bring up all the apps. If you want just to get the list of your recent apps, then double-click on the Digital Crown.
Rather than swiping up to get to your Control Centre, you will now use the side button. I like that you now use the side button. It is quick and easy to access, and you get a nice smooth animation with a lovely blurred background. It does take a bit of getting used to its new position but I like that it’s a button you have to press now.
I love the new Activity UI; it looks SO good on the Apple Watch Ultra’s large display. When you go into the activity app/complication, you are greeted with those lovely Activity Rings and by using the Digital Crown, you can scroll through each of them in detail as they have a dedicated page/screen.
The animation is great, and the background colour is that of the ring. You can also change your goal from this page, and you get a really nice % complete at the bottom.
As you scroll through, you will also get other info such as the number of steps, distance and any workout that you have done for that day, But it doesn’t stop there. On the first page/screen, you also have complications in the corners. Which takes you through your Weekly Summary, Sharing and then, finally, your Awards.
There have also been some changes in the Workout App. The changes from what I can tell are when you are stopping your exercise, the screen is a lot more simple and looks nice and clean. The end workout screen seems cleaner than in WatchOS 9.
It doesn’t seem like a big change, but when you see it on the watch, it just seems cleaner as a whole.
Mindfulness App updates
This is one that links into the iOS17, where we have the addition of the State of Mind. This is where you can log your state of mind for the day. You open the app, and it will ask you a number of questions about how your feel right now or how you felt overall.
Again the animations here are great as you are taken through questions using the Digital Crown. You can also enable notifications so you are reminded to log how you feel. After a while, you will be able to see your trends in the health app on your iPhone or iPad in the new OS’s
I know I have mentioned the animations above, but I think it’s worth its own section. All of the apps will have new animations when you open them, but I just wanted to mention a couple in particular that looks super cool.
1. The Heart Rate App. This has a whole new look with a heart animation right in the middle of the screen. You can also scroll through for more information on your heart, like your resting heart rate etc.
3. The Timer App. Rather than having the full circle, you now see segments which count down with the counter. You also get a nice bright orange screen when the counter is finished, so you can miss it 🙂
I am really loving the WatchOS 10 Beta, and I really do think that it gives the Apple Watch a fresh new feel. I am sure that there are plenty of other things that I will find as I use it more and more, but for the first release of the beta, it’s been pretty impressive.