Will your Apple Watch be able to run the new software?

Apple announced a number of software updates for iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad and Mac during its Worldwide Developer Conference in June. New features were announced for all devices with the software updates, but it was watchOS 10 that saw the biggest change, including an update to how we use the Apple Watch, not to mention the very cute Snoopy face.

There is a public beta of the watchOS 10 software available to download now, with the final release expected to come out in September. Will your current Apple Watch be able to run the new watchOS 10 software when it arrives though? Here are the Apple Watch system requirements needed for watchOS 10.

Which Apple Watch models support watchOS 10?

Apple is pretty good at offering support for older devices with its software updates, and for watchOS 10, it isn’t dropping any support compared to watchOS 9.

That means if your Apple Watch currently runs watchOS 9, it will also be capable of running watchOS 10. The full list of compatible Apple Watch models are therefore as follows:

  • Watch Series 4
  • Watch Series 5
  • Watch SE (2020)
  • Watch Series 6
  • Watch Series 7
  • Watch SE (2022)
  • Watch Series 8
  • Watch Ultra

Will you get all the watchOS 10 features?

No, sadly not, though from what we can see in the small print so far, most of the watchOS 10 features will be available, so you’ll get the Snoopy Watch Face no matter what model you have, along with the ability to log your mood and add widgets. The feature that you might not get depending on what model you have is the ability to see how much time you spend in daylight. This is designed to help encourage children to spend more time outdoors in order to reduce the risk of Myopia – more commonly known as nearsightedness. To get access to this feature in watchOS 10, you will need an Apple Watch SE (2nd generation), Apple Watch Series 6 or newer or the Apple Watch Ultra.

Apple / Pocket-lint

Apple Watch SE (2022)

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How to find what Apple Watch you have

If you aren’t sure what Apple Watch you have, don’t worry. The design hasn’t changed all that much since the device launched in 2015 so no one would blame you for not being able to immediately recognise which Series you have. The easiest way to find out what Apple Watch you have is to follow the instructions below:

Open the Apple Watch app on iPhone

  1. Tap on the My Watch tab
  2. Tap on General
  3. Tap on About
  4. You’ll see a model number like A2770, which you can cross reference with Apple’s support page here to determine which model you have

When is watchOS 10 available?

The public beta of watchOS 10 was released on 12 July 2023 so you can download that if you want to try out the latest version of the software on your Apple Watch now. Be warned though, as with all beta software, it will be a little buggy so it is recommended that you download it on a secondary device rather than your main Apple Watch if you have one.

The final version of watchOS 10 is expected to be released around a similar time to the announcement of the Apple Watch Series 9 and the Apple Watch Ultra 2. What the exact date will be is unclear for now, though watchOS 9 was released just under a week after the Watch Series 8, Watch Ultra and Watch SE (2nd generation) were announced. For now, there is no definitive date as to when the Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2 might be announced, though we expect watchOS 10 to be released before the end of September.

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