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Apple quietly added all the new watchOS 10 features that were delayed, and no one noticed

Published Jan 11th, 2024 1:07PM EST
watchOS 10.2 beta / Apple Watch Ultra 2 Now Playing section appears close to pair of HomePod mini // watchOS 10.3 beta
Image: José Adorno for BGR

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Every major software release by Apple has delayed features, watchOS 10 included. The operating system introduced during WWDC 2023 has several functions set to come later, including core features for the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2.

By the time Apple released watchOS 10 in September 2023, there were a total of six delayed features:

  • Double tap gestures: Users can easily control the Apple Watch Series 9 using just one hand and without touching the display by tapping the index finger and thumb of their watch hand together twice to quickly and conveniently perform many of the most common actions on the Watch.
  • NameDrop from iPhone to Apple Watch: NameDrop is a new feature that lets you easily share your contact information from one iPhone to another by approaching them. Apple says that nearing an iPhone to Apple Watch to perform the same action will be possible later this year with the Apple Watch Series 6 and later, Apple Watch SE (1st and 2nd generation), and Apple Watch Ultra. 
  • On-device queries: Users can ask Siri to read and long on-device Health requests. This change not only makes requests faster but more private and secure to users, as Siri can be used to access the Health app for health and fitness-related queries on-device (available for Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2).
  • Apple Fitness+ Audio Focus: Prioritize the volume of either the music or trainers’ voices in most Fitness+ workouts
  • HomePod feature: Users can automatically view Now Playing when in the proximity of HomePod (2nd generation) or HomePod mini playing media from Music or Podcasts.
  • HomePod feature: Media suggestions will appear at the top of the Smart Stack if nothing is playing on a nearby HomePod
watchOS 10 delayed featuresImage source: José Adorno for BGR

With watchOS 10.1, Apple added the first two features mentioned above. With watchOS 10.2, all the other functions were made available, although one of them was added, and no one seemed to notice it: Media suggestions at the top of the Smart Stack if nothing playing on a nearby HomePod.

Although I could almost believe this was a server-side change, I recently noticed that approaching my Apple Watch Ultra 2 with a pair of HomePod 2 or HomePod mini would display three music suggestions (albums or playlists) if nothing was playing.

While this feature is also exclusive to Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 users with HomePod 2 or HomePod mini, it’s nice that it’s finally available.

Wrap up

With that, Apple has no more delayed features expected for watchOS 10. That said, it doesn’t mean the company won’t add new functions, but at least users can take advantage of all announced features.

We still can’t say the same about iOS 17, iPadOS 17, and macOS Sonoma, but with the next X.3 versions, Apple could also introduce all the delayed features for these operating systems.

WWDC 2024 is five months from now, and there’s a lot we are already expecting for iOS 18. So, Apple, hurry up.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.