Brilliant watchOS 6 concept gives Apple Watch the love it deserves

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apple watch concept
Apple needs to add these features.
Photo: Matt Birchler

The grand unveiling of watchOS 6 is probably just three months away, but a cool new concept from Matt Birchler suggests some simple features that will hopefully get added in time for Apple Watch lovers.

In his annual watchOS concept, developer Matt Birchler lists all the ways Apple could make the Apple Watch platform even better. Most of the suggestions are pretty simple, such as always on watch faces, and would be easy for Apple to add. Hopefully, Apple’s software engineers are taking notes of these ideas.

Grid layout in the dock

grid
Converting the dock to a grid system would be cool.
Photo: Matt Birchler

Apple Watch’s dock layout kind of sucks. Birchler proposes Apple go back to a grid layout that shows previews of recently used apps. This idea might only work well on the larger screen of the Apple Watch Series 4, but it looks fantastic.

In Birchler’s mockup, he’s able to get 4 apps on screen at a time. Even though the preview windows are tiny, they still pack a ton of smaller readable information. The list of apps would scroll and show the last 8 – 12 most recently used apps.

“Well Being” rings

health rings
New rings would turn sleep data into easily-parsable information.
Photo: Matt Birchler

Native sleep tracking might be one of the big new features added in watchOS 6. That could also give rise to some new rings that convert that sleep data into useful information for wearers. Birchler says it wouldn’t be crazy for Apple to make all-new rings. The company has had its Breathe app for years. Apple Watch also encourages meditation. Giving people more rings to fill throughout the day would help wearers take more control of their mental health too.

Always-on watchfaces

watchOS concept
Third-party watch faces need to be a thing.
Photo: Matt Birchler

This one has been a popular request for years. We want to be able to see the time all the time on Apple Watch. Apple should at least come out with an option to keep your display on all the time. Give people a warning that it will wreck battery life. Most people will probably still use raise-to-wake, but for those of us that want Apple Watch to feel more like a mechanical watch, this would be a killer features.

Speaking of watch faces, please give us custom third-party watch faces Apple. There should be a very strict approval process where only the very best ones make it through. Trademark issues might be a problem but Apple can figure it out. It’s time to unlock Apple Watch’s true potential by letting other designers experiment with different watch face ideas.

Birchler has a lot of other suggestions for watchOS 6 too. Being able to see iPhone’s battery life from the Apple Watch would be cool. Reading full Apple News articles would be nice. He also suggests better data transfers for 3rd party apps, “domestic” style workout and wants Apple to add the option to setup Apple Watch without an iPhone. Take a look at the full concept over on Birchtree.