Apple is reportedly working on its most significant software overhaul to watchOS in recent memory. According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, the company is redesigning the Apple Watch’s user interface to make widgets a “central part” of how you will interact with the wearable. In describing the new UI, Gurman says it brings back elements of the Glances system that was part of the original watchOS while borrowing the “style” of widgets Apple introduced alongside iOS 14 last year.
He adds the new interface will be “reminiscent” of the Siri watch face that the company introduced with watchOS 4 in 2017 but will function as an overlay for whatever watch face you wish to use. “It’s also similar to widget stacks,” Gurman adds, referencing the iOS feature that allows you to scroll through widgets you've placed on top of one another.
— Mark Gurman (@markgurman) April 30, 2023
Simultaneously, Apple is reportedly testing a tweak to the Apple Watch’s physical buttons. With the interface redesign, pressing down on the digital crown could launch the operating system’s new widgets view instead of taking you to the home screen like the dial currently does with watchOS 9.
With the likelihood that the redesign will be jarring for some, Gurman speculates Apple plans to make the new interface optional at first. Additionally, he suggests the overhaul is an admission 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 a little more than a month away, it won’t be long before Apple shares more information about what Watch users can expect from its wearable’s next big software update.