Apple is working on the biggest Apple Watch upgrade in years

And you won't need to buy a brand new Apple Watch to take advantage of it

Best Apple Watch Series 8 deals
(Image credit: Apple)

Good news for anyone who fancies a new Apple Watch but doesn't want to spend a few hundred pounds on replacing their existing one: the next watchOS update, due later in 2023, could be the biggest Apple Watch update we've seen in years. 

That's according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, who says that Apple is working on a new widget-based interface that will be similar to the current Siri face but enable you to keep whatever Apple Watch face you prefer. 

What is Apple working on for watchOS 10?

According to Gurman, watchOS 10 will have an interface that's "similar to widget stacks, a feature in iOS and iPadOS that lets users pile many widgets into one and scroll through them". It's possible that the function of the Digital Crown will change too, with a press of the Crown bringing up the widgets rather than taking you to the apps list.

I'm very excited by this, because once I go beyond my Apple Watch face I start to feel like I've gone back in time; I find the standard apps layout useless – the problem of app icons resembling each other is bad enough on my iPhone 14, but when they're watch-sized it's even worse – and the scrolling interface is practical but pretty ugly. A widget-based system would be much more useful, and much more personal too.

Gurman suggests that part of the move is because "Apple Watch apps have barely caught on". I think that's true: with very few exceptions I use the core apps, or direct replacements for the core apps. A watch is a very different proposition to an iPhone and doesn't need the same app focus. However, Gurman also suggests that the new interface will be optional for those who are quite happy with the way things are.

If you've been hankering after the Apple Watch Series 8, this news makes it an even better buy: although we don't know what other Apple Watch models the OS update will support, it'll absolutely support the current model. And with multiple reports telling us that there won't be any massive hardware changes to the Apple Watch Series 9, it sounds like the Apple Watch software is the most tantalising change we'll see this year.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (