Revolutionizing the Apple Watch: A Look at the Potential of watchOS 10's Glance-able Widgets

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watchOS 10 is set to bring a major update to the Apple Watch, which is expected to make the device more intuitive and convenient to use. The update will reportedly revive the Glances feature from earlier versions of watchOS, but with a twist: Glances will be replaced by iPhone-esque widgets that offer more scrolling and stacking functionality.

Widgets have been a mainstay of the iOS and iPadOS platforms for years, offering users quick access to information and functions without having to open a full app. With watchOS 10, widgets are set to make their debut on the Apple Watch, replacing the Glances feature that was introduced in the first version of watchOS but removed in watchOS 4.

The rumored widgets are expected to be presented in the style of the current Siri watch face, which displays relevant information based on the time of day and the user's location. This could make the watch face more dynamic and useful, as users would be able to customize it with widgets that display the information and functions they care about most.

One potential benefit of widgets over apps is that they can be more "glance-able", allowing users to quickly check information without having to navigate to a specific app. This could be especially useful for fitness tracking, where users might want to check their progress or see how many steps they've taken without having to open the full fitness app.

Another potential benefit of widgets is that they can be more interactive than Glances. For example, a weather widget could allow users to scroll through a five-day forecast, or a music widget could allow users to play, pause, and skip tracks without having to open the full music app. This could make the Apple Watch more versatile and reduce the need to constantly switch between apps.

One interesting detail in the rumor is that the Digital Crown on the Apple Watch series 9/X may be re-mappable to open widgets rather than the home screen. This could be a useful shortcut for users who rely heavily on widgets, allowing them to access their favorite widgets with a quick twist of the Digital Crown.

It's worth noting that there is no indication as yet that these putative "watchOS 10" features would be exclusive to the 2023 Apple Watches. However, given the information- and interaction-rich nature of the rumored UI overhaul, it seems likely that the new features would require a more powerful processor than older Apple Watch models are capable of.

While the introduction of widgets on the Apple Watch could be a major step forward for the platform, it's also possible that the update could distract from more pressing health-tracking feature updates. According to recent reports, the Apple Watch's long-rumored upgrade to blood pressure-sensing has been delayed yet again, and may now not launch in a new model until 2025. This could be frustrating for users who are looking for more advanced health tracking features from their smartwatch.

Overall, watchOS 10 has the potential to make the Apple Watch even more useful and versatile than it already is. By replacing Glances with iPhone-esque widgets, the update could make it easier for users to access information and functions without having to constantly switch between apps. However, it remains to be seen whether the update will live up to the hype, and whether it will distract from more important health-tracking features that users are waiting for.

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