watchOS 10 out now — features, supported devices and more

watchos 10
(Image credit: Future)

Apple's watchOS 10 software has arrived with new features to keep you connected, active, healthy and safe through Apple Watch.

As the software that ships on the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2, watchOS 10 looks to change the way you use the Apple Watch with a redesigned home screen experience driven by widgets and Smart Stacks.

watchOS 10 also introduces new watch faces, added workout types, refreshed apps and other improvements that could make one of the best smartwatches even better.

Whether you want to know about all the new features, of if you’re wondering if your older Apple Watch will be compatible with the new software, below is everything we know about watchOS 10. 

watchOS 10 cheat sheet: New features at a glance

  • Redesigned navigation with Smart Stacks: Smart Stacks come to the Apple Watch to give you intuitive glances at information and apps based on machine learning.
  • Cycling workouts: Cycling gets a dedicated workout type, supporting Bluetooth sensors, FTP (functional threshold power) measurements and Power Zone readings. These workouts show up as a live activity on your iPhone, too.
  • Hiking upgrades: For hikers, new safety WayPoints are automatically added to the Compass app, while an upgraded Maps app shows advanced trail information before starting a journey.
  • Custom Apple Fitness Plus Plans: Fitness Plus users can receive custom workout or meditation plan according to their workout needs, such as duration and workout type.
  • Fresh watch faces: There are two new watch faces in watchOS 10. Palette is an artistic and colorful clock, while classic Peanuts characters Snoopy and Woodstock get their own watch face.
  • Mental health: In the Mindfulness app, users can now log their momentary emotions and daily moods. The Health app will offer deeper insights as to why you might be feeling a certain way. 
  • Vision health: Your Apple Watch can now measure time spent in daylight using the ambient light sensor. Ample time in sunlight can reduce the risk of myopia.
  • Medications reminder: If desired, the Medications app can now send follow-up reminders 30 minutes after the scheduled logging time, if not logged.
  • FaceTime video message playback: As part of the new FaceTime video message playback feature in iOS 17, users can view messages directly on Apple Watch. 

watchOS 10 release date

watchOS 10 was announced at WWDC 2023, alongside iOS 17 and other software refreshes. The June 5 keynote also saw the launch of the long-awaited Apple AR/VR headset.

Following WWDC, a developer beta version of watchOS 10 was be released. But as of July 12, the public beta of watchOS 10 became available. Now, as of September 18, watchOS 10 is fully available for all of the supported models, which you can find below.

watchOS 10 supported devices 

For watchOS 9, Apple made a major change to compatibility, finally ending support for the Apple Watch Series 3. Now, for watchOS 10, the Apple Watch Series 4 through the Apple Watch Series 8, Apple Watch SE (2022) and Apple Watch Ultra are all compatible. 

Of course, there will be some watchOS 10 features that are exclusive to Apple Watch models with always-on displays, newer health sensors and more spacious displays. 

Read our full guide to watchOS 10 compatibility to learn more.

watchOS 10 home screen and Smart Stacks

WWDC 2023

(Image credit: Apple)

There’s a new way to view information on your Apple Watch while still enjoying your watch faces. Turn the digital crown to view widgets organized in a smart stack. The Apple Watch uses machine learning to show you information that’s relevant to you based on the time of day, so you get info when you need it.

The widget-based redesign seems to make apps more accessible. With a curated series of tiles featuring selected apps, users will be able to swipe through a smart stack to view the latest information they’d want to see quickly. This means you could use a watch face that has less complications, theoretically.

watchOS 10 cycling and hiking workouts

WWDC 2023

(Image credit: Apple)

Competitive cycling gets a dedicated workout format in watchOS 10, leveraging a new compatibility with Bluetooth cadence sensors that you might attach to your bike. The Apple Watch can use the sensor data to measure FTP (functional threshold power) and provide Power Zones. What's more, cycling workouts show up as a live activity on your iPhone, so you can use a bike mount for a large-screen display for tracking your metrics.

Hiking workouts are improved with new compass and map features. The compass app will auto generate two new Waypoints, one that indicates the last place you had reception with your carrier and another that shows where you can make an emergency call using any carrier network.

There's also a new topographic map viewing option that shows contour lines, shading and trail head locations. You'll be prompted to review additional information on a trail before starting hike, too.

watchOS 10 mental health and vision health features 

WWDC 2023

(Image credit: Apple)

As the Apple Watch is an ever-improving health device, watchOS 10 introduced some important new health-specific features. 

Apple's Mindfulness app now offers mood-tracking, with prompts encouraging you to identify how you're feeling. In the Health app, you'll get deeper insights on how your other areas of health might be impacting your state of mind. You’ll be able to take standardized assessments to see how you’re feeling and see if you should speak to someone and seek help, too.

How much time you spend in sunlight will now be used as metric as your health as well. Using the ambient light sensor, your Apple Watch can now measure time spent in daylight. Spending time out in the sun (with SPF, of course) can reduce the risk of myopia.

More from Tom's Guide

Kate Kozuch

Kate Kozuch is the managing editor of social and video at Tom’s Guide. She covers smartwatches, TVs and audio devices, too. Kate appears on Fox News to talk tech trends and runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account, which you should be following. When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her taking up a new sport, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef. 

  • Ben10100
    Yeah, Okay...... These are certainly features you'd like to see... I personally only care about a native notes app for the watch. Long-term advantages for Apple Watch users include the following:

    1. Native safari

    2. An even more improved calendar app

    3. A refresh News application (Where we can search, has more stories easier to see, ETC)

    4. Make YouTube available on the Apple Watch!!!! It is big enough that it can handle YouTube, they already made WatchTube, which has a few technical problems, but the Apple Watch desperately needs YouTube.

    5. Give Walkie-Talkie a drastic change, it is so useless right now

    6. Add a battery app capable of telling you other devices' battery statuses (iPhone, AirPods, ETC). So far, you have to pay for third-party apps that do this, but you shouldn't need to since your Apple Watch is already connected to your phone.

    7. Add more customizable options (other than Grid View and List View). We would benefit if we saw a massive overhaul, like if we got an app library that we could have full control over.

    8. Beyond everything, just enhance the speed of Apple Watches, give them all a boost of speed, please. I don't want to see anything in the activity really change except for just a method to turn off workouts, otherwise, I feel as though Apple would be spending way too much time changing something that is already good enough right now. I understand this is supposed to be a massive redesign, but I just hope that Apple doesn't waste its time updating things that don't need to be updated.