Apps are a core part of the Apple Watch experience. Unfortunately, Apple’s insistence on an iPhone-like apps system doesn’t work well on a smartwatch—poking through the home screen is a pain, most Apple Watch apps suck, and developers aren’t allowed to make their own watch faces.
These woes may be resolved in the upcoming watchOS 10 update. Mark Gurman’s latest Bloomberg newsletter explains that the Apple Watch will introduce a widgets system, which will allow you to see information (calendar appointments, fitness data, etc) by swiping through a series of tiles.
These widgets may be styled like the existing Siri widget, or like the tiled widget system that recently arrived on iOS. Additionally, Gurman claims that pressing the digital crown in watchOS 10 could open your widgets, rather than your home screen.
Longtime Apple nerds may remember “Glances,” a widget system included in the original Apple Watch. This system was slowly chipped away in favor of the app home screen. We’re surprised to see Apple, the notoriously stubborn company, take a step back and reintroduce an old idea. (That said, Apple brought back MagSafe, and it recently launched a MacBook Pro with more than two ports, so maybe this is a trend.)
Additional information is unknown, though we expect Apple to announce watchOS 10 at WWDC 2023 on June 5th. The operating system itself will arrive later this year, as is tradition. Other new features in watchOS 10 will focus on health and fitness, and may include a personal AI coach, according to Gurman.