Apparently, Apple is hard at work on the biggest software update to watchOS in recent history. Mark Gurman of Bloomberg claims that the Apple Watch’s UI is being overhauled to make widgets a “central part” of the user experience. Gurman claims the new UI borrows the “style” of widgets Apple launched with iOS 14 last year, while also reviving aspects of the Glances system from the original watchOS.
The new interface, he says, will be “reminiscent” of the Siri watch face introduced by Apple with watchOS 4 in 2017, but it will work as an overlay for any watch face you choose. Gurman elaborates, saying, “It’s also similar to widget stacks,” referring to the iOS feature that lets you swipe between stacked widgets.
— Mark Gurman (@markgurman) April 30, 2023
It has also been rumored that Apple is experimenting with a change to the Apple Watch‘s physical buttons. When using watchOS 9, the dial takes you to the home screen, but with the new interface, pressing down on the digital crown may instead bring up the new widgets view.
Because of the potential for the makeover to be disorienting for some users, Gurman believes Apple will initially make the new interface optional. The new design, he argues, is an acknowledgment that an iPhone-like app experience “doesn’t always make sense on a watch – a place where you want as much information as possible with the least amount of poking around.”
With WWDC 2023 coming up in a little over a month, it won’t be long before Apple gives us a glimpse of what to anticipate from the next major software update for the Watch.