Garmin fans just lost a point in the battle with Apple Watch Ultra thanks to watchOS 10

watch os 10
(Image credit: Apple)

At WWDC 2023, Apple unveiled watchOS 10, one of the most exciting software updates the company announced -- and it's going to bring one huge change change for outdoor enthusiasts.

Apple is bringing a major redesign of several apps to Apple Watch this year, but with the advent of the immense Apple Watch Ultra last year, there was always going to be some focus on the great outdoors. So for 2023, Apple has developed a new Compass app on watchOS 10 that can generate two new types of waypoints. 

There's now a Last Cellular Connection Waypoint that shows you the last place you had cellular reception in case you need to check messages or make a call. And there's also a Last Emergency Call Waypoint so that you can see where your device last had a connection to any available network to make an emergency call. 

But that's not all: watchOS 10 also brings some major new navigation features that put it one step ahead of Garmin on the trail. 

Topographic maps

Apple announced a new Elevation view that can use altimeter data to show a 3D view of saved waypoints for preparing a route, and starting in the U.S., Apple Maps is going to get new topographic maps featuring contour lines, hill shading, elevation details, and points of interest." 

As our friends at TechRadar note, Garmin devices usually require topographic maps "to be downloaded separately as GPX files using the Garmin Explore app, while more detailed satellite maps have to be purchased." 

Apple has brought this feature right to your wrist as part of Apple Maps, and it looks like other countries could follow the U.S. at a later date. 

watchOS 10 will be a massive upgrade over watchOS 9 for the Apple Watch Ultra thanks to these changes, and it will present more reasons for users to choose Apple over Garmin when it comes to the perfect outdoor wearable companion.

We're covering all the WWDC 2023 announcements live and as they happen. Don't miss all our Apple Vision Pro, iOS 17, macOS Sonoma, iPadOS 17, and watchOS 10 news so far.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9