watchOS 10 upgrade

There is the three icon widget; you can add the app icon to that, and if has a complication, it will display. I’ve pinned that widget to the top.

And I’m here to say that I always hated that gesture, because I’d often find that an accidental touch had changed my watch face. (I once became so frustrated that I deleted all but one face.). So, I’m happy.

But there is a replacement series of gestures - long press and swipe, tap the face that you want to make active. [edit: Well, this set of gestures isn’t new, of course; it’s always been there.] Of course you could also create a shortcut to switch faces, and invoke it with Siri. Or you can associate a face with a focus and change focus to change watch faces.

This is an update on my initial complaint about the Dock being replaced by the Smart Stack of widgets with not all apps callable by widgets. Someone posted that I could create Shortcuts to get around that issue. So, it turns out that the app that usually called from the Dock before sleeping actually had a Shortcut action for the process I wanted to perform. In addition, I would also change my Focus to Sleep after running the app. So I created a shortcut to perform both actions and added it, as a widget, to the Smart Stack.

About a week ago, it appeared that Shortcuts lost their status as widgets. However, I was able to make the Shortcut app one of the 3 apps in the multi-function widget and then select my Shortcut from there. I also made an Open App shortcut for the app it replaced, so I still had close to the same functionality.

So, the moral is that I am now pretty well adjusted to the change, and, in addtion, am now playing with Shortcuts.

1 Like

As I hinted at in my previous post, one way to extend the Smart Stack is to make the Shortcut app one of the apps in the multi-function widget and create shortcuts for the additional potential widget items. To make things more predictable, pin the multi-function widget at the top of the stack.

1 Like

Yes, and it’s handy. But it’s already full of other essentials. I’m outta space. How about a second 3-icon widget so I can be more productive? My only guess is that watch performance will degrade by adding too much.

Fair point, but I’m going to challenge it. First, the spun crown can now leave you staring at the stack accidentally. And really, even without either gesture, simply pressing any complication on the one watch face you prefer will have you starting at something you need to exit to get back to your watch face.

Yea, that’s the one I’m saying is way too awkward. And it puts you in config mode where you’re at risk of modifying your watch faces and complications.

Very creative ideas. But watches are unique devices in that they are supposed to be the pinnacle of convenience and efficiency. If I had a watch where I could leverage a double tap, that would be a candidate. But much more than that and I will relegate the gesture to a nuisance category.

I think that if I literally had 3 more app slots in the stack, I might be fine.

Two things: accidentally opening the Smart Stack is an easy fix - either press the crown or scroll back up and you are back at your watch face - and, if the watch goes into dim mode, the next time you activate, it’s back at the face. It doesn’t stay in the Smart Stack. And with tapping a complication, it’s the same press of the crown to go back.

With an accidental swipe to change faces, I needed to swipe back, and hope that I swiped the proper direction. Pressing the crown returned me to the watch face I didn’t want at that time.

Whatever: I found that so absolutely annoying before.

If there was an option to return this behavior: I’d be fine with that. So long as I could also keep it this way.

This is the interesting thing. They took away the gesture completely. They didn’t make it configurable. It’s possible that they knew there were people like me who had 3 main watch faces in order to accommodate all our favorite complications, with the most important ones farther to the left. To Apple’s credit, they realized that this was actually an annoying compromise, and that organizing your favorites in a stack underneath a crown spin is more handy. And so they’re trying to force people like me to make the change by removing the “side swipe”. If so, they succeeded.

Previously I said “I think that if I literally had 3 more app slots in the stack, I might be fine.” I’m going to modify that. I don’t need 3 more slots for complications, which display live data, and burn CPU, and might be the restriction here. I really just want quick access to 3 more apps. I’m thinking that if there was a way to pin the apps I want to the top of the app List View behind the single crown press, I might be golden. That seems like an easy one to implement and matches the UX in the stack.

The way to access more things in the Smart Stack is to take advantage of the fact that one of the apps in the multi-function widget can be the Shortcut app. Many old complications and apps can easily be embedded in Shortcuts. So, you create those Shortcuts and order the Apple Watch Shortcuts so that your favorites are at the top.

In many cases, the Shortcut can be a one-step action of Open [App]. You can do this for apps with an iPhone and Apple Watch presence. If you use a particular command in the app, it may be a Shortcut action. Once you create the Shortcut, go to the Info panel for Shortcut and check off the Apple Watch option.

My situation was even more complex than Dave K’s. I had a full Dock of applications in addition to using a fully loaded Infograph watch face (8 complications). For Watch OS 10, I wanted to use the no-complication Snoopy watch face. After evaluating my priorities, I ended up with these Smart Stack Widgets:
Multi-function (pinned)
Alarm (pinned)
Calendar (Your Schedule)
Heart Analyzer (Recent Heart Rate)
Weather (Conditions)

In the Multi-Function widget, I have the basic Timer, Workout app, and Shortcut app. When I open the Shortcuts app, the top 3 are visible, with a button to show the rest. My top 3 are a combo shortcut related to activating sleep, Open Shazam, and Open Maps. The latter 2 are one-action shortcuts that perform those actions. Below them, I have other Watch shortcuts in priority order.

Thanks, and clever. But ugh, what a PITA. More taps. I mean, I can press the crown and have all my apps listed right there. You could argue that sorting through that longer crown-press list is not more annoying than scroll-tap shortcut-tap app of choice…

I say bookmark my previous post where I propose pinning items in the crown-press List View. I betcha Apple releases an update to support this :-)

That’s also a change with watchOS 10. It used to be that the list remembered where you were between uses. Now it always dumps you to the top of the list of apps, which I generally find less useful.


I do think it makes sense that now both the alphabetical list of apps and the list of most recently used apps are behind the same button (the crown), one as a single press and the other as a double press. Makes sense.

As of this morning, AnyList supports the stack. But I’m having to drop Workouts to make room for it. Not happy.

I think the greatest casualty I’m facing right now is with Shazam. I use this all the time at the gym and elsewhere to find out what song I’m hearing. No time to fiddle. There doesn’t seem to be any way to get it to appear anywhere in the stack. Ugh.

Again, put the Shortcuts app in the multi-function widget and create a Shortcut to Open Shazam. Make it one of your top 3 shortcuts, and you’ll have access to it with 2 taps from the stack. One of your other top 3 shortcuts should be to open whatever app the Shortcut app replaced in the multi-function widget; the third is your choice. It’s easy to reveal more, but that requires another tap and some scrolling.

In my setup, Open Shazam is the 2nd Shortcut in my list.

Or make a special watch face for the gym with the Shazam complication. You could have it associated with a focus (settings / focus on the phone) and when you end the focus, the watch will switch back to the watch face that was live when the focus was turned on. (You could even write a personal automation that activates the focus when you arrive at the gym.)

Also, not sure, but you can try Siri. “Hey siri, what is this song?” Or”hey siri, open Shazam”.)

Well that’s a crown spin, a tap and another tap. Try doing this while performing jumping jacks.

But I tried it and I can’t figure it out. I have actually tried many times to get shortcuts to do something for me and I have never been able to get it to do what appears to be so simple.

I spend my entire career solving tech problems. I get my hands dirty all day long. So I really don’t want to have to fight with my watch to get it to do what it should do. I want to be treated like royalty. It should just work. And so I’m partially advocating for the millions of people who will never (and should never have to) use shortcuts or any other hack do get basic stuff done.

Noting again that before the watchOS update, this was swipe and tap. Simple.

I bat the ball back to Apple.


Since I created that exact Shortcut, here is a link to it: Shortcut to open Shazam

Since this crown push-and-scroll remains a go to solution here, lots of the inconvenience could be abated if the list wasn’t so dang long. I deleted a few apps I don’t need on my watch. But why can’t I delete Reminders, Shortcuts, Stocks, and News? The first two I never use and the latter two I only need on my phone. But now they are 4 more things (10% of my
App list) cluttering a device that’s supposed to be quick and easy to navigate.

I know I prefer list mode, but if it’s problematic, you can always switch back to grid view. There is definitely less scrolling necessary with grid view.

I think list view would be improved if they restored remembering where you last were in the list. For me I often go back to the last app that I used, so that behavior was preferrable.

Apple doesn’t say why you can’t remove some system apps. This is all they say about it.

Yea good point. The ability now to move things around in grid view may be their attempt to appease people like me.

I tried moving Shazam and a couple others to the top and I’ll see how it goes. My experience is still going to be degraded when I try to find literally anything else in that jumble but maybe those will be rare enough. I’ll try it.

I just decided to try out Snoopy last night and, I have to say, it is delightful. It’s hard for me to get out of the habit of using watch face with a lot of complications, but I’m trying to see if I can get myself used to it.

Except when you are running an app. If you start an app from the list, then press the crown, it remembers your position. It only takes you to the top if you press the crown when you are in a watch face. Such a strange UX decision - I almost think that it was a mistake?

1 Like