Friday, July 19, 2024
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Will my Apple Watch get watchOS 11? Here’s every supported model

The Palette watch face on the Apple Watch Series 9.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Apple’s annual developers conference, WWDC 2024, is in the books. This year’s edition of WWDC was special, with Apple going all in on Apple Intelligence (its preferred term for its AI offerings). Besides key improvements coming to devices with larger screens, Apple also announced a new version of watchOS with fitness-tracking enhancements, new live widgets, and smarter delivery of health stats through the new Vitals app. If you are curious to try these new features, you need an Apple Watch model compatible with watchOS 11.

This probably leaves you wondering: “Which models of the Apple Watch will get watchOS 11?” While the short answer is the Apple Watch Series 6 and newer models, a more detailed list with all the supported models follows below.

Which Apple Watch models support watchOS 11?

The Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Series 8 showing the screens.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The watchOS 11 update requires advanced hardware, which is why Apple is limiting the update to the Apple Watch models with the computational capacity to run the new features. The following Apple Watch models are eligible for the watchOS 11 update:

  • Apple Watch Series 6
  • Apple Watch Series 7
  • Apple Watch Series 8
  • Apple Watch Series 9
  • Apple Watch Ultra
  • Apple Watch Ultra 2
  • Apple Watch SE (2022)

In addition to these Apple Watch models, the Apple Watch X (or Apple Watch Series 10), the Apple Watch Ultra 3, and the rumored Apple Watch SE 3 will run watchOS 11 right from the beginning when they launch later this year alongside the iPhone 16.

All of these must be paired with the iPhone Xs or newer iPhone models. Additionally, the iPhone must be running iOS 18 to get the latest watchOS 11 update.

With watchOS 11, Apple is dropping support for Series 4 and Series 5, both of which previously supported watchOS 10. Support for the first-gen Apple Watch SE has also been dropped since it runs the same chip as the Apple Watch Series 5. Meanwhile, the 2022 Watch SE is still supported — and should be for a couple more years.

Certain features, such as those dependent on Double Tap, will be limited to the Apple Watch Series 9, Apple Watch Ultra, and newer Apple Watch models launching later this year.

When will watchOS 11 be available?

Apple Watch watchos 11 smart stacks.

The watchOS 11 update will be officially released during the fall of this year, following the expected launch of the iPhone 16 series, the Apple Watch X, and the Apple Watch Ultra 3.

Those who want to try the new features sooner can download the watchOS 11 public beta preview, which is expected to be available sometime in July. To try the beta version, you will first have to install the iOS 18 beta on your iPhone.

Notably, the update is already available for folks with an Apple Developer’s account. It is not recommended to install the developer preview since it’s likely to have bugs and will almost certainly impact the usability of your Apple Watch.

What’s new in watchOS 11?

Apple Watch watchOS 11 features.

The watchOS 11 update brings a host of customization features, including the Training Load functionality, which lets you rate workouts on a scale of 1 to 10 for the Apple Watch to understand your activity better. Additionally, the new Vitals app keeps track of your bodily stats when you are resting and flags any abnormalities. Together, these features recommend if you should increase or decrease the intensity of your workouts. For pregnant persons, the new cycle tracking features help them track their entire gestation period and alert them in case of any unusual heart rate or temperature spikes.

The update also brings new dynamic widget stacks that automatically appear on your watch face when required. Meanwhile, Check-in functionality now lets you inform loved ones when you head out at an unusual time.

The new Photos watch face now uses more appeasing photos from your gallery to apply as wallpapers, while the improved GPS tracking functionality lets you log your hiking trails or boating routes more precisely.

Finally, Apple is opening up the Double Tap application programming interface (API) for developers to integrate the functionality within their apps.

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