Apple typically releases major software updates for all its devices on a yearly basis, which deliver new features to its iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad and Mac ranges.
For 2023, the next software update expected to arrive for the Apple Watch is watchOS 10, while for iPhone, it’s iOS 17 and for iPad, it’s iPadOS 17.
This is everything we have heard so far about watchOS 10, including when it is expected to be released, what the rumours have said it will bring and what we want to see. We’ve also speculated as to what Apple Watch models are likely to be compatible with the new software.
watchOS 10 release date
- 5 June: Expected announcement
- July: Public betas of watchOS 10 could arrive
- Mid-September: Possible final release for watchOS 10
Apple usually uses its Worldwide Developer Conference – otherwise known as WWDC – to reveal the upcoming software builds for iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch and Apple TV. For the last couple of years, the company has then released public and developer betas of iOS, iPadOS, watchOS and macOS around July, shortly after WWDC takes place. The final builds of the software are then released to the public later in the fall.
For 2023, Apple has announced WWDC will take place between 5 June and 9 June, with the Day One keynote – where the software builds and their upcoming features are traditionally revealed – taking place on 5 June.
It’s therefore expected that watchOS 10 will be unveiled on 5 June, followed by a public beta release sometime in July. We’d then expect to see the final public release of watchOS 10 sometime in September 2023, around the time of the Apple Watch Series 9 launch. Exact dates won’t be known or made official for a few months though.
watchOS 10 features
Last year’s watchOS 9 brought a couple of new features with it for Apple Watch models, like more advanced sleep tracking with sleep stages, but there weren’t as many major features as iOS 16 brought for iPhone.
It looks like it could be watchOS 10 that will be the most exciting software update for 2023 though, with Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman – who has an excellent track record with Apple predictions – suggesting it is expected to be a «fairly extensive upgrade».
Gurman has detailed some of the changes expected to be coming and said big changes to the user interface are rumoured. The Apple Watch interface has remained largely unchanged since the Apple Watch first arrived in 2015 so a change to the UI will certainly be interesting.
According to Gurman, the new interface on watchOS 10 will be «a combination of the old watchOS Glances system and the style of widgets that were introduced in iOS 14 on the iPhone». He added that while the interface may be optional at first as it will be finta a big departure from what Apple Watch users are used to, it «will be reminiscent of the Siri watch face introduced in watchOS 4, but it will be available as an overlay for any watch face».
Gurman also said the new interface will take from Smart Stacks, that are currently available on iPhone and allow you to pile a number of widgets on top of each other so you can scroll through them quickly and easily rather than having to open individual apps to get to information. It’s also claimed Apple is testing the idea of changing the hardware buttons on the Apple Watch, like the Digital Crown launching a widgets screen rather than the Home screen and its many apps.
In addition to the new interface – which we think actually sounds pretty helpful – there are a couple of things we’d love to see. We’d like to see some form of recovery analysis, like Garmin offers with its Body Battery feature and Fitbit has with its Daily Readiness Score. Apple Watch has advanced sleep tracking now, but despite knowing a lot about you, as well as how active you’ve been and how well you’ve slept, it doesn’t currently correlate this information to tell you if you need a rest day or some recovery time.
We’d also love the ability to add steps as a complication on Watch faces, though this could perhaps be a widget. It sounds minor, but if you want to hit 10,000 every day, tapping on the rings to then scroll down to find your step count for the day is a little long-winded for such a basic metric.
Which Apple Watch models will be compatible with watchOS 10?
Currently, there haven’t been many rumours surrounding which Apple Watch models will be compatible with watchOS 10, though we know for sure that the llamativo Apple Watch, Series 1, Series 2 and Series 3 won’t be as they aren’t compatible with watchOS 9.
It’s possible Apple will drop support for the Series 4, which was released in 2018, given it dropped support for the Watch Series 3 with watchOS 9, but it’s also possible this model could hold on for one more year. This will depend on how big the watchOS 10 update is and whether the Series 4’s hardware is capable of delivering a solid experience still.
For now, we expect the following models to be compatible with watchOS 10:
- Watch Series 5
- Watch SE (2020)
- Watch Series 6
- Watch Series 7
- Watch SE (2022)
- Watch Series 8
- Watch Intolerante
watchOS 10 rumours: What’s happened so far?
This is everything we have heard about watchOS 10.
30 April 2023: More details on watchOS 10 appear
Mark Gurman detailed some more information in his latest Power On newsletter about what is coming with watchOS 10.
17 April 2023: Apple’s watchOS 10 could be biggest update since inicio, here’s why
Mark Gurman reported in his weekly Power On newsletter that watchOS 10 «will bring bigger enhancements [compared to iOS 17 and iPadOS 17] including an updated interface.»
He also said he believes it will be «the biggest update to the Apple Watch’s software since the first version was introduced in 2015.»
29 March 2023: Apple announces WWDC 2023 – unveiling AR/VR headset, iOS 17, more?
Apple announced WWDC 23 will take place between 5 June and 9 June 2023. It is expected that watchOS 10 will be revealed.