Apple Watch Ultra gains Auto Night Mode with watchOS 10

an image of night mode on the Apple Watch Ultra
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple’s watchOS 10 will bring an Auto Night Mode feature to the Apple Watch Ultra, making the largest of Cupertino’s smartwatches a little friendlier to use in low-light situations. 

With watchOS 10, the Apple Watch Ultra will use its ambient light sensor to detect when light levels are low enough and switch to Night Mode automatically. This will turn the Wayfinder watch face red and black; that’s a black background and red text, somewhat reminiscent of the high-end Bell & Ross BR 03 92 Red Radar watch, which has a design inspired by the radar equipment of fighter jets. From shots of the feature, it looks rather slick and keeps with the rugged aesthetic of the Apple Watch Ultra. 

Night Mode on the Apple Watch Ultra isn’t a new feature,. But currently, you have to enable it manually on the Wayfinder face and suing the Digital Crown to select it. 

Given the Apple Watch Ultra has the brightest ever display on an Apple smartwatch, if you happen to forget to enable Night Mode then glance at your watch bleary-eyed in the small hours of the morning, you could get a blinding shock of brightness. So, the automatic switching could be a boon for people who like to wear their Apple Watch Ultra when in bed; this lets wearers take advantage of the watch’s sleep tracking features. 

More Apple Watch upgrades coming with watchOS 10

Revealed at WWDC 2023, watchOS 10 is also getting a load of other features. A highlight looks set to be Smart Stacks, which redesigns the navigation on the watches to serve up the most relevant information based on the time of the day and your watch use, all thanks to machine learning. In practice, this should mean that when you wake up and look at your Apple Watch you’ll be served information like the weather for the day as well as your agenda. And it'll all be stacked widget-form in the most important order.

Other highlights include medication reminders to help people stay on top of what they should be taking and when. And Vision Health uses the ambient light sensor to detect how much sunlight wearers have been in, the logic being that being out in the sun can reduce the risk of myopia.

A suite of fitness-related upgrades are coming to watchOS 10 as well. And overall, it looks like Apple is bringing in a significant amount of tweaks and updates to its smartwatch operating system to make wearing one of the best Apple Watch models that bit better.

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Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.