watchOS 11 rumors & 5 features what we want to see

Rumors point to 'minor update' – but there's still so much to improve
Wareable watchOS 11 rumors & 5 features what we want to see photo 4
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We’re counting down the days to WWDC – where Apple will unveil its newest version of watchOS.

Last year saw a raft of new additions to watchOS 10, with Smart Stack widgets, gestures, and workout API all being added.

There are rumors of a big change to Apple Watch coming down the pipe, with a possible Apple Watch X on the horizon, which could see a change of shape.

But what about watchOS 11? 

Well, current rumors are that the OS will get a "fairly minor update", according to the ever-present Mark Gurman from Bloomberg. That was his words, from 

There have been rumors that AI will be a big theme of iOS 18, so we could see this filter down to the Apple Watch too.

That could take the form of Quartz, the rumored AI lifestyle trainer that made headlines last year.

But if anyone from Apple is reading – here is our Wishlist for watchOS 11.

watchOS 11 features we want to see:

1. Smart trainer

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This is one that’s been rumored to be part of project called Quartz, which would being AI training to the Apple platform.

Quartz, which was tipped by Mark Gurman back last year, appears to be an AI model that would recommend lifestyle and training improvements, tailored around your existing health tracking.

That could mean training for a marathon or incorporating other challenges, such as getting more sleep or hitting your goals.

Quartz could offer AI features such as a chatbot for a more personalized experience, like we've seen with Whoop Coach. 

It would also bring the immense amount of data captured in Apple Health to life – which is something I really want to see happen.

2. Recovery scores

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The recovery metric has become a staple of wearables over the past few years, driven by the success of Oura and Whoop. Usually derived from heart rate variability, it tells you how ready your body is for strain, which is affected by stress, sleep and factors like alcohol intake.

It's a great lifestyle motivator, that can encourage good choices (don't have that glass of wine before bed) – and inform why your workout might have been lackluster, or you're prepped to go extra hard.

The basic Apple Watch rings experience certainly feels way behind the likes of Whoop and Oura as a tracker of lifestyle, and there’s a lack of intuition about our body and health.

This feels like a feature that would reinvigorate the fitness tracking experience.

3. More intelligent sleep tracking

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Apple was way behind with sleep tracking, but when it finally landed in 2020, it got a lot of things right. First, it was accurate – and we liked the focus on things like sleep consistency, instead of meaningless and unactionable metrics like sleep stages.

So I was disappointed when Apple then added those metrics in watchOS 8, and didn’t advance the more forward-thinking ideas around consistency, or leveraging the iPhone to track environmental factors such as noise or light.

Sleep tracking in general has huge potential to be smarter and more actionable – and I want to see Apple take the lead away from meaningless data and toward real improvement.

4. Health monitor

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One of my favorite Whoop features is the Health Monitor, which tracks key vital signs against your personal baselines. For example, if your breathing rate spikes, it’s usually a sign you’re ill, and it can be intuitive to have this information at hand.

Apple has shied away from interpreting health data and leaves it up to the user to find these metrics in Apple Health and interpret it themselves. 

Some kind of at-a-glance 

5. Native GPX routing

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A bit of a niche one, and likely for Apple Watch Ultra users, but I’d love to see support for uploading GPX files natively.

There are a fair few apps that can do this from the App Store, but given Apple’s talk about navigation via the Compass app, it would be far more useful to upload routes in the de facto standard.

TAGGED Apple Watch

How we test

James Stables


James is the co-founder of Wareable, and he has been a technology journalist for 15 years.

He started his career at Future Publishing, James became the features editor of T3 Magazine and and was a regular contributor to TechRadar – before leaving Future Publishing to found Wareable in 2014.

James has been at the helm of Wareable since 2014 and has become one of the leading experts in wearable technologies globally. He has reviewed, tested, and covered pretty much every wearable on the market, and is passionate about the evolving industry, and wearables helping people achieve healthier and happier lives.

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