Apple’s Wonderlust event was packed with details about the Apple Watch Series 9’s awesome “quack quack” to answer calls gesture and the Apple Watch Ultra 2’s inclusion of Siri on device – but little was said about when to expect the software that makes it all work: watchOS 10!
The same can be said about the Phone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus’ new Dynamic Island, or the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max’s Action Button. However, we’ve already caught the details on when to expect the arrival of iOS 17, the same goes for the iPadOS 17 release date too!
But where’s the love for watchOS 10? It’s here! Apple has recently confirmed the release date for watchOS 10, and we’re here to let you know when you can, how you can, and who can download the update when it launches later this month.
watchOS 10 release date
According to Apple, eligible Apple Watch and Apple Watch Ultra owners will be able to update their device to watchOS 10 from Monday, Sept. 18, 2023.
The release of watchOS 10 will likely happen simultaneously alongside iOS 17 and iPadOS 17. With that in mind, and following Apple’s previous OS release schedule, here’s when the new wearable OS download is likely to go live on the day:
- United States: 10 a.m. PDT; 11 a.m. MDT; 12 noon CDT; 1 p.m. EDT
- Canada: 10 a.m. PDT, 1 p.m. EDT, 2 p.m. ADT
- United Kingdom: 6 p.m. BST
- Europe: 7 p.m. CEST, 8 p.m. MSK/EEST/TRT
- India: 10:30 p.m. IST
watchOS 10: Which devices are supported?
Apple’s software updates are tailored towards its latest devices, but support older models up to a certain threshold. Every new release sees certain models drop out of compatibility for newer releases, and watchOS 10’s debut will be no different.
Here is Apple’s official list of watchOS 10 compatible devices:
- Apple Watch Series 4
- Apple Watch Series 5
- Apple Watch SE
- Apple Watch Series 6
- Apple Watch Series 7
- Apple Watch Series 8
- Apple Watch Series 9
- Apple Watch Ultra
- Apple Watch Ultra 2
Reminder: Not all features of watchOS 10 will be available across all of these devices. If you want to experience everything that watchOS 10 has to offer, you’ll need to get your hands on the Apple Watch Series 9 or Apple Watch Ultra 2 when they’re made available for preorder from Friday, Sept. 15, 2023 or when both devices go on sale from Friday, Sept. 22, 2023.
watchOS 10: How to download watchOS 10
Want to know how to download watchOS 10 when it arrives later this month? No problem! There are two ways to update your Apple Watch to the latest version, one for devices running watchOS 6 and above, and another for smartwatches on any lower versions.
Note: Before starting any update process, make sure that your Apple Watch is at least 50% charged. Apple recommends leaving your Apple Watch on its charger while the update completes and not to restart your device mid-install.
Updating an Apple Watch to watchOS 10:
Apple Watches running watchOS 6 or later can install updates with zero hassle. Just make sure that your watch is connected to Wi-Fi and follow these three simple steps to update:
Step 1: Open you Apple Watch, open “Settings”
Step 2: Tap “General,” and then “Software Update”
Step 3: Install the pending software update and follow all on screen instructions.
Updating an Apple Watch to watchOS 10 with iPhone
If you’ve an Apple Watch gathering dust in your wardrobe running watchOS 5 or lower and want to update it to the latest version then you’ll need to make use of your iPhone to perform the update – so first, ensure your iPhone is updated to the latest version of iOS and is connected to Wi-Fi. After which, you should be ready to perform the update:
Step 1: Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone
Step 2: Tap “My Watch,” “General,” and finally “Software Update”
Step 3: Download the pending update and wait for the progress wheel to appear. This could take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour to complete.
watchOS 10: What to expect
watchOS 10’s unveiling at WWDC gave us plenty of insight into what was heading to the Apple Watch this year, and it was a substantial upgrade to say the least. What the Apple Watch lacked in massive overhauls to hardware, it more than made up for in software improvements – including a total rethink of the watchOS UI. Here’s some of the key features arriving with watchOS 10:
Smart Stack: Smart Stack is a new feature that maximizes the potential of any watch face throughout the day. Adapting itself to fit with the wearer’s context, Smart Stack showcases widgets that can be cycled through using the Digital Crown to quickly browse through Calendar events, Reminders, Weather forecasts, and more with ease.
It looks to be a great way of keeping an eye on your day ahead, with its content tailor to time of day and what your current activity is.
Hiking and Cycling: Activity tracking for cycling and hiking has been overhauled with new metrics and Bluetooth accessory compatibility for potential pedal pros. These accessories can help track cadence, speed, and power to your Workout View and gain better insight into your exercises.
As for hiking, the Compass app has now made the leap to 3D – with estimated way points on Cellular connectivity and emergency call signal availability automatically added as you travel. There’s also better trail information, and topographic maps featuring elevation and points of interest.
NameDrop: Name drop works similarly to the iOS 17 feature of the same name. Hold your Apple Watch close to someone else’s iPhone or Apple Watch to enable NameDrop, here you’ll be able to quickly share contact information with one another – without any of the fuss involved in mishearing numbers or names. It’s quick, easy to use, and a fantastic feature to look forward to.
Offline maps: iOS 17 will see iPhone users finally be able to download maps for offline use. Pair that downloaded data with an Apple Watch device and you’ll be able to navigate and view detailed place cards from your smartwatch any time your iPhone is turned on and within range.
New look apps: A new design language for watchOS 10 sees your favorite apps looking better than ever thanks to a UI overhaul. Apps now utilize more of the Apple Watch’s display to ensure you get the most relevant and useful information you need at a glance.
New watch faces: watchOS 10 welcomes two new animated watch faces to its collection by way of Palette, an overlapping gradient pattern that cycles through its colors to match your time of day, and Snoopy, featuring the iconic Peanuts characters Snoopy and Woodstock – who react to your activities, the weather, and play with your watch hands.
Once again, the watchOS 10 update is set to release on Monday, Sept. 18, 2023. That means we're just days away from getting to grips with the Apple Watch's latest batch of features and new look UI overhaul.
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Rael Hornby, potentially influenced by far too many LucasArts titles at an early age, once thought he’d grow up to be a mighty pirate. However, after several interventions with close friends and family members, you’re now much more likely to see his name attached to the bylines of tech articles. While not maintaining a double life as an aspiring writer by day and indie game dev by night, you’ll find him sat in a corner somewhere muttering to himself about microtransactions or hunting down promising indie games on Twitter.