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watchOS 11 removes Siri face on Apple Watch

It was this month a year ago when I posed the question: Will the Siri face survive watchOS 10 and Apple Watch widgets?

To my knowledge, Apple has never retired a watch face. Some are hardware specific, others are redesigned, but watch faces don’t leave the Apple Watch. I think that’s why the Siri watch face still exists for now, but it will need some love to stay relevant.

As of watchOS 10, the Siri watch face is six versions old. It debuted with much potential and made steps toward realizing that potential before it stalled. Now there’s a new widget system on Apple Watch that turns the Siri watch face into an antique. It still has some uniqueness to it, but I’m not sure that will be the case this time next year.

Well, it’s “this time next year” now, and the Siri watch face on Apple Watch has not survived.

In its place? A smarter Smart Stack.

  • Widgets appear based on time, location, and more.
  • Live Activities, once a missing feature on the Apple Watch, now live in the Smart Stack.
  • Smart Stack can surface the Shazam widget when nearby music is detected.
  • Distance, Training Load, Photos, and weather alert widgets are now included.

The real Siri face killer? Double tap. The finger gesture for summoning the Smart Stack from the watch face never worked on the Siri face. Seeing the two vertically scrolling interfaces compete was a good sign that the new way was in and the old way, less used way was out.

Even better is how watchOS 11 handles auto-launching apps for Live Activities and playing media. The new default is auto-launching the Smart Stack when a Live Activity or playing media is active. No double tap gesture required.

As I concluded a year ago:

Ultimately, I think each data source from the Siri face should become a widget. The Siri face could live on as a sort of dedicated widget watch face. Smart Stack already looks like a redesigned Siri face.

This is all Apple Watch work that can wait for watchOS 11 or 12, but I do think it needs to happen versus the other option: abandoning the Siri face and letting it languish.

watchOS 11, indeed. Siri face: 2017—2024. You served some people well, sometimes. Now the countdown for the Apple Intelligence face begins… or at least an Apple Watch or watchOS version that talks the Apple Intelligence language.

Frankly, I just want Siri with ChatGPT on the Apple Watch, but that’s something for another time. Siri + ChatGPT on the iPhone, possibly via AirPods, is exciting enough in the meantime.


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