Tuesday, September 19, 2023

watchOS 10


Apple today released watchOS 10, a milestone update bringing a new visual language to apps to see more information at a glance, a new Smart Stack to show relevant widgets right when they’re needed, and delightful new watch faces. Bluetooth connectivity for power meters, speed sensors, and cadence sensors arrive for cyclists, unlocking new metrics and Workout Views, and cycling workouts will automatically show up as a Live Activity on iPhone and utilize the full screen. Additionally, new Compass Waypoints and Maps capabilities can further help during outdoor adventures. The Mindfulness app offers new tools to support mental health with state of mind logging, and Apple Watch also introduces the ability to measure time spent in daylight using the ambient light sensor.

See also: MacRumors, Dan Moren.


Update (2023-10-25): Matt Birchler:

This week I talked about how I, and many other people, didn’t feel like the new watchOS button behaviors are intuitive (even after using them for 3 months). “Maybe it will make sense with a new watch that has different button layouts.”

Early in the watchOS 10 beta I mentioned that the buttons at the end of a workout were shuffled around from how they had always been and that ending a workout took more taps than before. “Maybe it will make sense when we see the new watches in September and they have a new feature.”


The Series 9 and Ultra 2 Apple Watches added no functions to the Workout app and the UI is identical to the other models

Update (2023-11-22): Alex Guyot:

One complication associated with the Dock’s new position is that double-clicking the Digital Crown already had a behavior in watchOS. This action has long been used to automatically swap back and forth between two apps, or between an app and the watch face.


I do wish Apple would make the watch face itself accessible from the Dock. In the old system, if you opened a single app and then wanted to hop right back to the watch face, the Digital Crown double-click action would make that happen instantly. Without the watch face showing up in the Dock though, the only method we’re left with is to press the Digital Crown, wait a few moments to make sure you aren’t going to register a double-click, and then press the Crown again.


I think the assignment of the hardware button to Control Center, without updating the Control Center interface at all, was downright lazy. It feels as though Apple knew they wanted to place the Smart Stack where Control Center was (a perfectly reasonable idea), but didn’t put in the work to think of a new place for Control Center to live where it would actually make sense.


Alternatively, I wouldn’t mind at all if the company reconsiders Control Center again, making it a software button at the top of the Smart Stack, and changes the Side button into an Action button.

Update (2024-01-11): Joe Rosensteel:

The hold-down-to-change-watch-faces thing lasted from September 10th to November 15th, so clearly that one didn’t go over well. Moving the Control Center to the side button persisted, without any preference or option to revert. Maybe fewer people were pissed off about it?


Perhaps, what’s so frustrating to me is that the Smart Stack is so useless to me, specifically. I can’t speak for everyone else, but all of the times I’ve accidentally opened this treasure trove of irrelevance it’s displayed the day of the week, the month, the date, the goddamn time, and then a card that’s either a snippet of my almost entirely empty calendar, or the weather. All of this information (except my mostly empty calendar) is better laid out in my Modular watch face, using complications.


And yet, I somehow get both the swipe up, and the upwards swipe on the Digital Crown to get to it? It deserves two special gestures?

I also find the top part of Smart Stack useless, but it doesn’t really bother me because it’s still easy (though less intuitive given how it works on iOS) to access Control Center with the button.

1 Comment RSS · Twitter · Mastodon

Mayson Lancaster

Extremely laggy response to Digital Crown press Forgets place in App list. C-

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