Enhancing your Apple Watch experience may not require purchasing a new device, as the upcoming major operating system update—presumably called watchOS 10—promises significant improvements for existing models like the Apple Watch 8.
This information comes from Mark Gurman’s Power On newsletter for Bloomberg (via 9to5Mac), where he states, “I believe the new watchOS should be a fairly extensive upgrade—with notable changes to the user interface—unlike iOS 17.”
Although Gurman doesn’t provide further details, more information about this “extensive upgrade” will likely be revealed soon, as watchOS 10 is expected to be announced at Apple’s WWDC 2023 conference on June 5.
The first developer beta is anticipated to debut at the event, followed by public betas shortly thereafter. However, the final software release will likely occur around September, coinciding with the expected launch of the Apple Watch 9.
Major updates on the software side
If you’re shopping for a new Apple Watch, the Apple Watch 9 may not be as enticing as expected. Gurman points out the significance of watchOS making a big splash this year, given that Apple Watch hardware updates will be relatively minor.
This assertion aligns with the limited Apple Watch 9 rumors we’ve encountered, which indicate it will closely resemble the Apple Watch 8. Additional leaks propose that the Apple Watch Ultra 2 and Apple Watch SE 3 may not debut until 2024, setting the stage for a major year in Apple Watch hardware. The Apple Watch 10 (or potentially Apple Watch X) is also rumored to receive significant upgrades.
It appears Apple will concentrate on software enhancements over hardware innovations for the current year. Thus, if you own an Apple Watch 8 or an older model, you may be able to access most of this year’s improvements by simply updating your current device rather than purchasing a new one.
While it’s wise to approach Gurman’s claims skeptically, his strong track record lends some credibility. If he’s correct, our list of the best Apple Watches may remain fairly constant this year, but your existing wearable could soon feel rejuvenated and thrilling once more.