Apple's next Watch update will be 'fairly minor' — watchOS 11 won't be the highlight of WWDC as rumored new features remain elusive

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(Image credit: Future)

If you are looking for a huge new watchOS update to wow you later this year, you may be disappointed. 

WWDC 2024 is just a few months away in June and this is when we expect to see the announcement of the next batch of Apple’s major software. In the latest edition of his Apple newsletter, Mark Gurman, an industry insider, has announced watchOS 11 will be ‘fairly minor’. However, iOS 18 is ‘considered internally to be the biggest update to iOS since the original iPhone” As well as this, the next update to visionOS, 2.0, is also expected to arrive this year. 

Though we don’t yet know why the next watchOS update is pretty small, it could have something to do with the fact that the new iOS update is so big, or it could be because Apple Watch X is anticipated to be a huge development for Apple. Just last year, Mark Gurman stated that the Apple Watch X “promises to be the biggest overhaul yet”.

watchOS 10 was also quite a big change last year, so a quieter year for 2024 was never out of the question. 

What was new in the last watchOS update?

watchOS 10 launched alongside the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2, the best Apple Watch models right now. It came with an updated interface that could take advantage of the new Smart Stack and widgets. It also came with a whole host of watch faces, double tap functions on the new smartwatches for quick control, and better tracking for Maps and Compass support. 

Tying into broader upgrades to Apple’s ecosystem, iOS 17 added better precision Find My support for finding your iPhone 15 Pro Max, the best iPhone right now. It also added the ability to share contact information with NameDrop and the ability to log your state of mind, for mental health awareness. The Journal app came out later in iOS 17.2, which is linked to Apple’s pursuit of better mental health tracking. Though watchOS 11 may be small, hopefully, the Apple Watch X will make up for it. 

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James Bentley

James is a staff writer and general Jack of all trades at iMore. With news, features, reviews, and guides under his belt, he has always liked Apple for its unique branding and distinctive style. Originally buying a Macbook for music and video production, he has since gone on to join the Apple ecosystem with as many devices as he can fit on his person. 

With a degree in Law and Media and being a little too young to move onto the next step of his law career, James started writing from his bedroom about games, movies, tech, and anything else he could think of. Within months, this turned into a fully-fledged career as a freelance journalist. Before joining iMore, he was a staff writer at Gfinity and saw himself published at sites like TechRadar, NME, and Eurogamer. 

As his extensive portfolio implies, James was predominantly a games journalist before joining iMore and brings with him a unique perspective on Apple itself. When not working, he is trying to catch up with the movies and albums of the year, as well as finally finishing the Yakuza series. If you like Midwest emo music or pretentious indie games that will make you cry, he’ll talk your ear off.