If the WatchOS 10 Widget Rumors Are True, Your Apple Watch Might Be More Useful

Mini apps are on the rise

  • Apple is reportedly about to add widgets to Watch OS 10. 
  • The widgets will let you move through a list of functions. 
  • Widgets are growing in popularity across most operating systems.
Closeup on someone accessing a weather widget on a silver Apple Watch.

Luke Chesser / Unsplash

Widgets may be returning to the Apple Watch, and experts say they could change how you use your Watch. 

Watch OS 10 will feature widgets as the primary way to navigate the timepiece, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. You'll be able to use the widgets to scroll through a list of functions instead of launching apps. 

"With the redesigned user interface, I see widgets becoming a central part of how users interact with their wearables, allowing them to see and interact with more and more information and apps right from their watch face," tech expert Steven Athwal told Lifewire in an email interview. "This means users can get more done with just a few taps, without having to navigate through multiple screens and menus or needing to grab their phone or laptop, making it far easier for people to do things on the go without being overloaded with cumbersome electronics."

WatchOS Widgets Everywhere

The widgets in the new Watch OS could fundamentally change how you interact with your watch. Apple initially used widgets with its timepiece but shifted away from the feature in favor of a cleaner interface. Now, Bloomberg reports that widgets could be back and more like the Siri watch face introduced in watchOS 4. 

Tech expert Theresa McDonough predicted in an email to Lifewire that Apple Watch widgets will be "beneficial" for users. 

With the redesigned user interface, I see widgets becoming a central part of how users interact with their wearables...

"For instance, a more advanced weather widget could provide localized, real-time weather updates and alerts without the need to open an app, helping users plan their day better," she added. "A fitness-tracking widget could display daily step counts or heart rate measurements, motivating users to achieve their health goals. By allowing users to personalize their watch face with these improved widgets, the Apple Watch will better cater to individual needs and preferences while saving time and streamlining interactions."

Apple won't be the only widget maker for smartwatches, either. Google's wearable operating system has a similar feature. However, if you're considering switching to a watch running Wear OS, the Apple new watch feature might convince you to stay with Cupertino. Compared to Wear OS, Apple's new widgets will be more intuitive, visually appealing, and easier to use, Athwal said.

"Apple has always been known for its user-centric design philosophy, and the new widgets are no exception, and they offer a more personalized and customizable experience that puts the user's needs front and center," he added. "Wear OS, on the other hand, has historically been criticized for its cluttered and confusing interface, and while recent updates have improved the situation, I still believe that Apple's new widgets are superior in terms of design and functionality and might take control of the wearables market before we know it."

The Future of Widgets

Widgets, mini apps that display dynamic content and don't demand too much attention, seem to be taking over computers. Macs have widgets you can add or customize, while iPhones can use widgets on the home screen or lock screen. Windows computers aren't left out of the fun either. 

Widgets are becoming so popular that the line between full-fledged apps and their mini cousins is starting to blur. In the future, Athwal said, as we rely increasingly on wearable technology, widgets will play an essential role in interacting with our devices like phones and laptops. 

Someone working on a laptop in a cafe and looking at an Apple Watch on their wrist.

Kilito Chan / Getty Images

"I think we'll see more and more apps adopt widgets as a way to provide quick access to their most important features and functions, wanting to engage with consumers at every level possible, such as smaller versions of larger apps like social media accounts," he added. "I think we may also see more personalized and context-aware widgets that adapt to our individual needs and preferences, like wellness apps related to our breathing levels, or food tracking and fitness apps that can be customized on the fly."

Widgets could soon get smarter, thanks to AI-driven personalization that takes into account users' preferences, habits, and activities, McDonough said. For example, a calendar widget could more intelligently display upcoming events based on your schedule and current location. 

"As wearables gain popularity, cross-platform compatibility becomes increasingly important," she added. "Users will want a smooth experience, with widgets working seamlessly on different devices, regardless of the operating system."

Was this page helpful?