WatchOS 10: release date, features, compatible wearables and more

We rank all rumoured WatchOS 10 features and provide all the information you need about the new wearable operating system

Apple Watch with watchOS 9
(Image credit: Apple)

Rumour has it that the latest WatchOS 10 will be the most significant overhaul of Apple's wearable operating system since, well, for a long, long time. In fact, some reports say that the WatchOS 10 update will be so significant that it will overshadow the release of the latest Apple Watch cohort (we doubt this, but you never know).

And with WWDC 2023 just around the corner, the anticipation about the new Apple wearable operating system is sky-high. The same can be said about the upcoming iPhone operating system, iOS 17

We collected all rumoured features (and added a few suggestions of our own) and ranked them in terms of the likelihood of them becoming a reality. Plus, we provide loads more information about the latest WatchOS 10, including when it's expected to be released, which watches will get it, and more. Check out T3's best Apple Watch guide for more info on the latest WatchOS iteration and all things Apple.

What's WatchOS 10?

WatchOS 10 is the latest version of Apple's operating system for the Apple Watch. It's a wrist-sized iteration of iOS, the company's smartphone operating system. The first WatchOS was released on 24 April 2015, along with the original Apple Watch. WatchOS 10 is said to be the most significant overhaul of the wearable operating system since it was launched.

When is WatchOS 10 out?

Apple often announces their latest and greatest software updates at the World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) ahead of the product launch. This year's WWDC 2023 is held between 5-7 June at Apple Park in Cupertino, California and broadcasted virtually worldwide. There is a high probability that WatchOS 10 and most of its new features will be announced at WWDC 2023. Read our WWDC 2022 recap to see what to expect from this year's event.

How to get WatchOS 10 on your Apple Watch?

Apple Watches get updated periodically – you should receive a notification when your watch is ready to be updated to WatchOS10. You can also update your Apple Watch software by checking for updates in the Apple Watch app on your iPhone. For more information, visit Apple's update your Apple Watch guide (external link).

What Apple watches will get WatchOS 10?

The new Apple Watch 9, which will most likely get announced in September 2023 at the annual Apple Event, will be the first Apple Watch to get the WatchOS 10 treatment. However, previous Apple Watch iterations, including the Apple Watch Series 8, Apple Watch Series 7, and Apple Watch Ultra, are also likely to receive an operating system update not long after. We expect to see all Apple Watch iterations, all the way back to the Apple Watch 5, to get WatchOS 10. 

WatchOS10: Rumoured features ranked in terms of likelyhood

1. Third-party app support

Likelihood: Not impossible but unlikely

WatchOS has tons of apps to support your every need, from smart notifications and sleep tracking to ECG and measurements and more. Some more third-party app love would be nice to see on the Apple Watch, although Apple is famous for running a tight ship, and we don't expect to see a lot of effort to integrate third-party apps into WatchOS anytime soon.

Apple Watch Series 8 review

(Image credit: Matt Kollat/T3)

2. Watch face customisation options

Likelihood: Very likely

WatchOS 9 brought along new watch faces but very little in terms of watch face customisation options. Many people asked for standard watch faces to be changeable to suit individual user needs, and while it's not likely Apple will hand over the reins to us, they might let us add/remove widgets from watch faces when WatchOS 10 is launched.

3. Dark mode watch faces (plus auto switch between light and dark mode)

Likelihood: Very likely

This is a no-brainer: the Apple Watch already has a dark mode, so it would make sense for the watch faces to have light and dark mode options. It's an easy fix, so we wouldn't be surprised if WatchOS 10 would have this feature,

Apple Watch Series 8 review

(Image credit: Matt Kollat/T3)

4. 'Bubble icon' menu revamp

Likelihood: Likely

One of the many rumours circulating about WatchOS 10 is that it'll introduce a new menu system that might even support folders, just like how you can organise your apps on an iPhone into folders to declutter the screen. We like the idea, and if the rumours are true, this will happen when the new wearable operating system is out. 

5. Option to remove apps

Likelihood: It's possible

Speaking of decluttering: it would be amazing if Apple Watch users could remove apps if they don't need them. This would reduce the time people spend hunting around for the three or four apps they actually use on the watch. Apple could use a similar interaction for this as they do on iPhones; long pressing an icon will make all icons 'wobbly', making it possible to remove unwanted software.

6. Morning report

Likelihood: It's possible

Garmin's Morning Report seemed a bit of a gimmick at first, but it's actually a nice feature, as it offers an overview of the day (incl. weather and calendar updates) as well as training suggestions and basic sleep analyses. Apple Watches can do most of these things, and it wouldn't be the worst idea to bundle them up in a morning report-esque format. 

7. Recovery suggestions based on heart rate variability

Likelihood: Not expected but possible

Apple Watches use LED lights to measure heart rate during workouts (links to Apple) and to calculate Heart Rate Variability (HRV). Using this data, sleep and stress record, Apple could provide recovery suggestions for athletes, making the Apple Watch an even better alternative for the best Garmin watches. The WatchOS 9.2 update already turned the Apple Watch into a full-fledged running watch, so it wouldn't be surprising if Apple doubled down on recovery features with WatchOS 10.

Apple Watch Series 8 review

(Image credit: Matt Kollat/T3)

8. More Low-Power mode customisation options

Likelihood: Not expected but possible

In our Apple Watch Series 8 review, we mentioned that the Low-Power mode is an excellent way to extend the Apple Watch's battery life (which, let's admit, needs extension). However, you can't customise what sensors and features the Low-Power mode switches off – we'd appreciate it if this could be tailored more to individual user needs. For example, some could disable blood oxygen monitoring but leave continuous heart rate tracking intact.

9. Android support

Likelihood: Improbable

Apple Watches only work with iPhones, but if Apple really wants to go after running watch and triathlon watch users, they must make the Apple Watch system agnostic, allowing it to be used with any smartphone. This is highly unlikely to ever happen, but one can hope, right?

Matt Kollat
Section Editor | Active

Matt looks after T3's Active vertical, which incorporates all things fitness, outdoors, wearables and transportation – anything that gets you moving and keeps you fit and healthy will go through his hands. His byline appears in several publications, including Techradar and Fit&Well, and more. Matt also collaborated with other content creators (e.g. Garage Gym Reviews) and judged many awards, such as European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance's ESSNawards. When he isn't working out, running or cycling, you'll find him roaming the countryside and trying out new podcasting and content creation equipment.