watchOS 10 has been unveiled by Apple during its WWDC 2023 conference, alongside two new Macs, MacOS Sonoma, iOS 17 and the huge announcement of the Vision Pro headset, Apple’s big foray into AR computing.
On top of all that was watchOS 10, which is a huge upgrade to the best Apple Watch models, offering a new customizable Smart Stack of widgets accessible from your home screen with a twist of your Digital Crown, all-new cycling and hiking features, mental health tools, a new contact-sharing feature called NameDrop, offline turn-by-turn navigation on Maps when paired with an offline iPhone, and loads more.
Although the WWDC keynote announcement showcased lots that the new Apple Watch operating system could do, it neglected to mention when watchOS 10 would be released and which Apple Watches would support it. However, thanks to the official press release, we now know both of these things.
Which Apple Watches will support watchOS10?
The official press release states: “watchOS 10 will be available this fall as a free software update for Apple Watch Series 4 or later paired with iPhone Xs or later, running iOS 17.”
In a nutshell, if your Apple Watch is capable of running last year’s watchOS 9, it’s also capable of running watchOS 10. This includes the following models:
- Apple Watch Series 4
- Apple Watch Series 5
- Apple Watch Series 6
- Apple Watch Series 7
- Apple Watch Series 8
- Apple Watch SE (Generation 2)
- Apple Watch Ultra
The caveat is that the iPhone you’re pairing your watch with must be able to run iOS 17, therefore be no older than the iPhone Xs.
When will the watchOS 10 beta be available?
As stated above, watchOS 10 will be available in “the fall” likely coinciding with an iPhone-led Apple Event in September. However, the press release also states “The developer beta of watchOS 10 is available to Apple Developer Program members at developer.apple.com starting today. A public beta will be available to watchOS users next month at beta.apple.com.”
If you’re already a watchOS user and keen to try version 10 before its official release in the fall, watchOS 10 will be available in public beta format in July. This version might have some kinks to work out, as do all products in the beta testing phase, so we don’t recommend to download the early version unless you really feel that you know what you’re doing – but as long as you have one of the watches and phones listed above, you’ll be able to try it before everyone else.
Analysis: Timing is everything
Of course, there’s a big reason watchOS 10 will have the kinks worked out and be ready to launch in September: Apple Watch 9.
The latest iteration of Apple’s wearable is almost certainly going to be revealed during Apple’s annual September event, which tends to place an emphasis on new hardware like iPhones and watches rather than software releases for the aforementioned devices. This allows beta testers to work the bugs out of the software before debuting the new software on all-new devices.
Want to catch more of all the rest of our WWDC coverage? Check out our list of 15 things we learned during WWDC 2023.