Apple's watchOS 10.2 update is here with six big new features

watchOS 10 timer
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple has been testing watchOS 10.2 in beta form for weeks as it gets ready to release the update to watchOS 10 to the public but that testing has now come to an end. The watchOS 10.2 update is now available for download with a number of new features for Apple Watch owners around the world now able to enjoy.

The watchOS 10.2 update is compatible with all the same Apple Watch models as the watchOS 10 release was which means the Apple Watch Series 4 or newer as well as the Apple Watch SE are good to go. The update is available via the usual mechanism which means heading into the Watch app on an iPhone and initiating the download from there.

Once that download is done Apple Watch owners can look forward to multiple new features including some that will make it easier to update Apple Health data hands-free.

New features

Apple's watchOS 10.2 release notes detail all of the changes that have gone into this latest release including multiple security updates relating to a number of aspects of the Apple Watch software. But in terms of new features, there are six main additions that are worth noting.

Perhaps the headline feature for watchOS 10.2 downloaders is the ability to "access and log Health app data with Siri," although that feature is only compatible with the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2. With this feature, users will be able to use Siri to record when they took their medication, while data can also be accessed including asking the Apple Watch for information like how many steps they took. All useful stuff, although the fact this feature only works with Apple's best Apple Watches is sure to be a disappointment for many.

Another addition is the ability to automatically view what media is playing whenever an Apple Watch is brought near a 2nd-gen HomePod or a HomePod mini when it's playing audio from Apple Music or Apple Podcasts. There's a hardware limitation here as well, with the Apple Watch Series 6 or Apple Watch Ultra or later needed.

Next up is the return of a feature that watchOS 10 inexplicably removed — watchOS 10.2 brings back the ability to swipe to change a watch face, a huge deal for those who change faces regularly. On top of that, fitness fans can also choose to prioritize the volume of either the music or trainers' voices in most of their Apple Fitness Plus workouts

Continuing the fitness theme, Apple says that people can now also "enable the ability to confirm ending workouts in Settings," while the final feature isn't really a feature at all — it's a fix.

Apple says that the watchOS 10.2 release "resolves an issue that can cause watch faces added in the Watch app on iPhone to not appear on Apple Watch," good news for those who suffered from this particular bug.

More to come

While this update is now available for download we can expect more to come. The watchOS 10.x release cycle will continue into 2024 ahead of the watchOS 11 software preview that is expected to be shared at WWDC in June.

The watchOS 10.2 update is far from the only new software that Apple released this week. Owners of iPhones everywhere can now download iOS 17.2, while iPadOS 17.2 and tvOS 17.2 are also now available for download. Mac owners also have the macOS Sonoma 14.2 download available to them, too. Some of those releases are bigger than others, but we'd suggest downloading them all to make sure you're running the latest software fixes and security updates.

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Oliver Haslam
Contributor

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.