watchOS 11 is the next Apple Watch operating system expected later this year. Although it’s still many months away from landing on your watch, we can make some guesses and review rumors about what it’ll include.
WatchOS 11 Release Date
watchOS 11 is technically just a rumor because Apple doesn’t discuss future products or software releases. But it’s a very educated guess to assume it’ll arrive later this year. The company has upgraded the OS on its smartwatches every year since the first version in 2015.
Here’s how it typically goes: Apple will introduce the next watchOS at the 2024 WWDC in June, you’ll be able to get the beta version of watchOS 11 soon after, and once it’s available to the public in the fall, you’ll update your watch to install it.
Lifewire’s Release Date Estimate
We expect watchOS 11 to arrive in September.
WatchOS 11 Price
All of Apple’s operating system updates are free. Assuming you have the right Apple Watch and the right phone (see below), you’ll be able to get watchOS 11 for free.
WatchOS 11 Features
The upcoming WWDC will give us a glimpse at what’s coming, but until then, we can only guess which new features will arrive.
A programmable side button would be a great addition to watchOS 11. This functionality is wholly software-based, so it’s not a technical issue preventing this. Currently, the Control Center opens when you single-press the side button, and a double-press launches Apple Pay. Hopefully, there will be a setting to remap this button to something else, like any Apple Watch app.
Siri is expected to get a big AI update across all Apple products, but there’s no telling this early how it’ll be implemented on the Apple Watch. Better voice dictation is always appreciated on a smaller screen, but there’s probably a lot more Apple could whip up.
Another thing I’d like to see is easy access to Apple Notes on the Apple Watch. There are plenty of watch-compatible note-taking apps on the App Store, and their benefits are clear enough that it’s strange Apple hasn’t made its app available. This is one of the more significant feature requests I’ve seen from Apple Watch users.
While wanted by some users, we’re not expecting watchOS 11 to support third-party watch faces. If anything, we’ll see some new options directly from Apple, like last year. 9to5Mac discusses why Apple doesn’t allow third-party watch faces (hint: it’s about uniformity).
Like most software updates, we won’t be surprised to see minor improvements to how Apple Watch deals with sleep and exercise data. This should translate to more precise and reliable metrics. Speaking of that, we wonder how Apple will handle measuring blood oxygen now that the feature has been removed from the Series 9 and Ulta 2 line of watches.
We’ll keep this section updated as leaks and rumors roll in throughout the year. In the meantime, check out our watchOS 10 article for a look at last year’s updates.
WatchOS 11 Supported Devices
Apple hasn’t released the list of watches that can run the next version of watchOS. We guess it’ll be similar to last year, but with the Apple Watch Series 4 pulled because it was released in 2018 (Apple typically updates watches for about five years).
- Apple Watch Series 5
- Apple Watch SE
- Apple Watch Series 6
- Apple Watch Series 7
- Apple Watch Series 8
- Apple Watch Series 9
- Apple Watch Ultra
- Apple Watch Ultra 2
Your phone also matters. We think you’ll need at least an iPhone 11 running iOS 18.
The Latest News About WatchOS 11
You can find all the latest news about smartwatches and more here at Lifewire. Below are some stories about watchOS specifically.
Jessica Irvine is a tech enthusiast specializing in gadgets. From smart home devices to cutting-edge electronics, Jessica explores the world of consumer tech, offering readers comprehensive reviews, hands-on experiences, and expert insights into the coolest and most innovative gadgets on the market.