watchOS 10: Smart Stack, new features, and everything you need to know

The app grid could perhaps be one of the features that Apple plans to change with a major interface overhaul, according to one unconfirmed rumor. A leaker has suggested watchOS 10 will include a new Home Screen layout that is easier to navigate and that includes folders for apps. This enables brand-new metrics, including cycling power (watts) and cadence (RPM), and additional Workout Views, including Power Zones. Bluetooth connection is supported for Indoor and Outdoor cycling workouts, as well as GymKit. Hikers will also have some safety and navigating perks through the WatchOS 10 update.
Some are exclusive to newer models, like the Apple Watch Series 8 and Apple Watch Ultra. Like Smart Stack on your iPhone, you can adjust the order of the widgets in watchOS 10. Since this feature can essentially replace complications, it works best on full-screen watch faces, like the Photo watch face. The new NameDrop lets you quickly share your contact just by bringing your Apple Watch near another user’s iPhone. Offline Maps on the iPhone will allow you to access turn-by-turn navigation and more with a paired Apple Watch, even when cellular service and Wi-Fi are unavailable.
Last year’s WWDC brought major updates to the Apple Watch’s hardware, including the introduction of the extra-durable Apple Watch Ultra. During today’s WWDC keynote, Apple revealed that 2023 will bring similarly major updates to the wearable’s software when watchOS 10 arrives in the fall. You can access a widget stack from any watch face using the Digital Crown, swiping through them to get to relevant information. Control Center can be activated from any app by pressing the side button, and these new quick access controls are meant to let you use watch faces that support less information while still putting everything you need at your fingertips. You’ll be able to officially download watchOS 10 sometime this fall after both a developer and public beta testing period. Additionally, watchOS 10 also includes NameDrop, offline maps, Apple Fitness+ custom plans, and so much more.
And children who do not have their own iPhone can use Family Setup to pair their Apple Watch to their parent’s iPhone, giving parents visibility into the amount of time their kids are spending in daylight with Health Sharing. With watchOS 10, redesigned apps provide more information at a glance, and there are new ways to navigate and quickly access content. You can access it any time by just turning the Digital Crown from any watch face.
Hikers will get to view trails and trailhead info directly from the wrist. Thanks to the altimeter, you’ll also be able to view a new 3D map of your waypoints. Some new waypoints include the last place you had cell data and the last place you can make an emergency call using any carrier’s network. US users will also get topographic maps, which feature contour lines, hill shading, elevation details, and points of interest.
If you can’t wait for watchOS 10, you only need to wait until July when the public beta will be available to all of us without a developer account. This year, Apple has made some changes to the way iOS beta is installed, so if you’re a little confused, here’s how to download watchOS 10 developer beta 1 on your Apple Watch. Meanwhile with Family Setup, time and daylight can be measured from a child’s Apple Watch, even if they don’t have their own iPhone, Apple says, and parents can track this info. A new field called Screen Distance will measure if a child is holding a device too close (closer than 12 inches) for an extended period of time and will then encourage them to move their device farther away. Screen Distance feature uses the same TrueDepth camera that powers Face ID in iPad and iPhone, notes Apple. Another change involves a new feature for the Mindfulness app that lets you track your emotion and daily mood, even moving the Digital Crown to scroll through shapes to pick how you’re feeling.

Widgets will serve as a quicker, interactive way to access key information on the Apple Watch without having to resort to using an app. WatchOS 10 will be coming in the fall, and the company announced a ton of new features at this year’s WWDC. Mental health is as important as physical health, and research shows that reflecting on state of mind can help build emotional awareness and resilience. With the Mindfulness app in watchOS 10, users can discreetly and conveniently log their momentary emotions and daily moods. Users can turn the Digital Crown to scroll through engaging, multidimensional shapes to choose how they are feeling, select what is having the biggest impact on them, and describe their feelings. New algorithms combining sensor data from Apple Watch and connected power meters can estimate Functional Threshold Power (FTP), the highest level of cycling intensity that a rider could theoretically maintain for an hour.
The update brings improvements to many favorite features of the watch including its fitness capabilities. You’ll be able to track daily movement in a more detailed and seamless manner using the activity app on your Apple Watch as well as the fitness app on your iPhone. As rumored previously, watchOS 10 has stackable widgets with the new Smart Stack to showcase relevant widgets for weather updates, reminders, Calendars, and more with the help of the Digital Crown. The apps have been redesigned for access to more glanceable information on the display. While the first Apple Watch featured a widget system called Glances, it was removed in watchOS 3 as Apple pushed its native apps agenda.
Coming at WWDC on June 5, watchOS 10 is rumored to pack a number of major changes and new features, including a major rethink of how users access information from different apps and services. You’ll be able to connect to Bluetooth bike sensors and view power and heart rate data during cycling sessions. Cycling activity that your Watch tracks will appear on your iPhone automatically. WatchOS is the world’s most advanced wearable operating system, and it has redefined how people all over the world think of what a watch can do,” said Kevin Lynch, Apple’s vice president of Technology. In watchOS 10, users can enjoy redesigned apps that offer a greater amount of information with just a glance. Additionally, new navigation options have been introduced to ensure quick and effortless access to content. Apple Watch apps such as Weather, Stocks, Home, Maps, and Messages now take advantage of a larger portion of the Apple Watch display, presenting users with information at a glance. Developers can make use of the new watchOS design language to utilize the entire display.
Apple showcases its upcoming software updates at WWDC each year, including for watchOS. But in recent years, not much has changed when it comes to the Apple Watch’s software. That changes with watchOS 10, which looks to be one of the biggest Apple Watch update releases in years. With a new user interface called Smart Stack on the way, Apple Watch users will soon be able to interact with information on their wrist in an all-new way. WatchOS 10 introduces a wide range of visual changes, including the new Home Screen layout. The latest app layout on the Home Screen is inspired by iOS and features better app organization through folders.

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