Apple watchOS 10 might be all about widgets

Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference is looming over us. On Monday, Apple will hold a keynote event introducing all the new hardware and software folks have been speculating about for weeks — and it looks like wearables just might be front and center.

Apple’s mixed-reality headsets will undoubtedly take up plenty of space at the WWDC, but it’s the beloved Apple Watch (yes, I am biased) that I’m looking at. It could get a brand new look, courtesy of watchOS 10. 

Right now, the Apple Watch is built around watch faces (which I think of as my homepage) — a scrolling screen with all the apps you have access to — and notifications similar to its other OS products.

But that might change next week. Rumors have been swirling that after many long years, the Apple Watch will be getting a significant refresh — perhaps its biggest software update since the original Apple Watch launched. These are the companies most personal wearables and, as MacWorld reports(opens in a new tab), Apple now has nearly a decade of data about how people use their smartwatches.

Streamlining the Apple Watch experience

Folks are thinking the watchOS 10 will make the watch more focused on widgets. According to Bloomberg(opens in a new tab), the new widgets system will combine Glances — a widget system on watchOS from years ago — and the widgets you see on your iPhone and iPad. So instead of scrolling through your watch face or a long, long list of apps, launch one, and use it, users will scroll through a series of widgets  — without having to launch the apps at all.

Personally, I love this rumor. I only use a few apps on my Apple Watch — workout, calculator, Latch, activity, and, occasionally, Spotify. The idea that this could be more streamlined, like it is on my iPhone, is delightful.

Bloomberg also reports that Apple might change the function of the watch’s buttons, which sounds truly terrible to me. Right now, the Digital Crown launches the home stream — that might launch widgets instead. I’m sure this change would be fine and I would get used to it, but I don’t love the idea of it yet.

Nothing is written in stone until Monday’s keynote event, though. You can tune in yourself if you’re curious.

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