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Concept Part 2: watchOS 8 could better integrate with Apple TV and add quality-of-life improvements

There are so many big and small ways that Apple can improve watchOS. If you haven’t already, make sure to check out part 1 of our watchOS 8 concept before you continue reading. The second half of our concept includes some smaller changes to the operating system that would be welcome quality of life improvements.

All of these changes build upon existing features of the Apple Watch like watch faces, the remote app, and power reserve mode.

‘Remote’ becomes ‘TV’

The current remote app on Apple Watch hasn’t changed much at all since it first launched, and with the advent of Apple TV+ and the more powerful TV app, a major update is way overdue. Apple wouldn’t want to complicate the remote app with too much new data, so I propose showing your recently watched movies and TV shows in a simple list view upon launch.

You could tap on the remote button at the top to use the redesigned virtual remote or tap on a recently watched show or movie to continue playing it. You’d then get a modal that would let you choose which nearby device you want on which to play that content.

Redesigned remote

The redesigned remote within the new TV app would introduce a clearer layout that delineates between the button controls and the touchpad area. It would also add the ability to speak to Siri on your television through your watch’s microphone.

Another major change would be the ability to control the volume of your television with the Digital Crown while in the remote view. This would presumably only work with compatible televisions that can integrate more deeply with Apple TV.

New grid app view

The current Apple Watch app grid view is infamous. It’s beautiful but it’s impractical. It’s customizable but it’s a mess. Apple could rename grid view as “classic view” and introduce a simple 2 x 2 grid of larger app icons.

You’d be able to customize the layout of these apps just like you could on the 6th-generation iPod nano. Ideally you’d also be able to hide apps you don’t use.

Dim display mode

Power reserve mode is really useful when you need to see the time on your Apple Watch but want to save battery life for an extended period of time. But there’s no way to track your activity or see a more detailed face when in this mode. With a new Dim Display mode, Apple Watch Series 5 and Apple Watch Series 6 could use their LTPO always-on displays to show a black and white low brightness analog or digital clock.

This mode would earn you an extra couple of days of battery life but not nearly as much as power reserve mode. You’d be able to access these toggles by pressing and holding the side button.

(Product) red watch face

In addition to the TV+ face I shared yesterday, new (Product) red Apple Watches could include an exclusive set of watch faces just like Nike+ and Hèrmes models. There’d be a digital face and an analog face. Both would be customizable. Choose from different shades of red and choose the design of the dial on the analog face.

What do you think of these ideas for watchOS? Have you read part 1 of this concept? If you haven’t, be sure to check it out. Let us know what you think in the comments below!

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Avatar for Parker Ortolani Parker Ortolani

Parker Ortolani is a marketing strategist and product designer based in New York. In addition to contributing to 9to5mac, he also oversees product development and marketing for BuzzFeed. A longtime reader, Parker is excited to share his product concepts and thoughts with the 9to5mac audience.