watchOS 5


Original poster
Nov 30, 2004
Toronto, ON
Now that we’ve had some time to live with watchOS 4, what’s missing? What has Apple got right and should stay going forward? According to trends that we’ve been seeing on iOS, what do you think is going to make it into watchOS 5 due to be announced at WWDC next Summer?

After four tries, Apple finally got the side button right, moving from a rarely used messenger with Watch specific features towards a dock in watchOS 3 and polishing up the experience to a vertical scroll of app cards in watchOS 4.

The Dock also provides a place to access all other apps. I think that this gives us a hint at an impending removal of the apps home screen. It’s the least efficient way to start an app and gets in the way of navigation through the OS by giving it an important physical button (the Digital Crown). Our most used apps will already be in the dock and can be accessed from complications, Siri and notifications. The least used apps don’t deserve such a prominent position in the OS, let alone a physical button.

The Watch face with its app launching complications is the real Home screen in watchOS.

A revision of gestures on iPhone X gives us another hint at how Apple can deal with a device without a Home button. Sliding from below anywhere in watchOS could flick an app away revealing the Watch face below. Does Control Center need to be where it is? How often do you turn on Airplane Mode or Theatre Mode or anything else in this shelf? Can it be moved to the Dock? Maybe in a card above the current running app?

I see these moves as necessary to free the Digital Crown to do what it does best: screen free navigation. The Crown already scrolls lists, but when you want to select an item in those lists, you have to touch the screen. Pressing the Digital Crown should become the “Enter” button. Scroll, then press to enter.

Apple Watch is really coming into its own and the coming watchOS will begin to firm up navigation conventions. What do you think we’ll see?


macrumors 68000
Sep 12, 2008
Northumberland, UK
They need to make it so devs can make good apps. Only the Apple apps are any good today.

I think WatchKit (?) is the main limitation now. Apps should be able to function without the iPhone, if that’s logical for that type of app.
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Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
Aside from wanting more diversity in Watch faces, Perhaps a more refined user interface with the cluster of applications. It works for what it is and I know it can be managed. But I would like to see it more structured.

Also, Force Touch could have model expananded capabilities.
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macrumors 601
Jun 24, 2010
OP makes a lot of good points. You're app dev I presume?

I especially agree with app honeycomb part, and the gesture you suggested is also interesting.


macrumors 6502a
Oct 26, 2012
I switched from the honeycomb app layout to the list layout, and it’s much better in my view.

agree completely, and would rather look at this than the dock which I never use. id sorta agree with the OP if instead of honeycomb/list they had dock/list as the option and it was moved to the 2nd button freeing up the top button for doing things.

my other wishlists/bugbears

1. I know I'm in the minority as my separate thread didn't garner much support but even as an option, swap out the ugly 'no data' 'no new events' stuff on complications for blanks or logos or something else less ugly.

2. not sure its an OS decision, but ability to transfer music by cable or wifi, ideally straight from mac.

3. a news app that has more than 2 sentences

4. more clock faces, including more gimmicky ones.

5. the ability to add reminders by scribbling


Original poster
Nov 30, 2004
Toronto, ON
I switched from the honeycomb app layout to the list layout, and it’s much better in my view.
I did too. But it has no place on a main screen like it is now.

I put my 6 most used 3rd party apps in the Dock so that they load instantly but I launch almost all of my apps either by Siri or by its complication.

My Watch faces are set up like Home screens. Each has complications related to the activity that they represent. The fitness face has my workout apps, the work face has my Things to do list, my at home face has HomeKit complications.

A new slate of watch faces that can fit more complications is something that would be welcome in watchOS 5. The Siri face is as close as it gets with scrollable apps right on the face.
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macrumors G5
Nov 20, 2008
Ventura County
The ability to connect to WiFi networks without your phone being needed. All it needs is a WiFi settings menu. Not sure what is holding it back. I figured with the release of LTE, a WiFi setting menu would be a no-brainer.