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Apple has confirmed it will reject all Apple Watch apps that just tell time

This effort would seem to be an attempt by Apple to keep any third-party custom watch faces from its Apple Watch device. The new rule is under section 10, "User Interface" of the App Store Review Guidelines. The specific addition is 10.7, which says:

Watch Apps whose primary function is telling time will be rejected

At the moment, the Apple Watch just has 10 watch faces, most of which can also be customized to some extent. There's no word on when, or even if, Apple will eventually allow the smartwatch to support third-party faces, but it seems likely that the company will release some additional official watch faces at some point.

Source: Apple (opens in new tab); Via: 9to5Mac

I have been writing professionally about technology and gaming news for 14 years.

36 Comments
  • Why does this not surprise me?
  • We are Apple. Resistance is futile. You will comply.
  • You gotta admit though, just stupid to tell time on a smart watch Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • That means you are stuck with 10 watch faces apple offers. Not think of it as a time app but rather a watch face.
  • I'm not as interested in watch faces as I am applications that actually work and are useful. So . . . this doesn't bother me at all.
  • We think alike. +1 Sent from the iMore App
  • This is the opposite of me. I'm interested in the Watch almost exclusively for it's watch functions and smart-watch (sensor related) functions. I haven't seen hardly any apps that interest me at all and expect that to be the same pretty much forever. There simply isn't that much that you can do on the wrist that isn't annoying after ten seconds or so IMO.
  • Then don't get the watch plain and simple instead of complaining how your needs are compatible. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • That's a pretty rude thing to say. Where am I "complaining" exactly? One person says, "I'm interested in part A, but not part B," and I reply with "actually I'm interested in B but not A." You then follow it up with a comment along the lines of "f*ck off and stop complaining." WTF?
  • For a watch that sells for $350 or more, I would be inclined to agree with you.
  • So it's butterflies and Mickey Mouse? No NCAA, NFL, or NASCAR faces?
  • I could go for a Ricky Bobby watch face ;)
  • I would believe that is something Apple will allow soon. The first few IOS versions you could not change the background.
  • Its all part of the plan. As usual Apple will hold out until the tipping point, when users start considering jumping ship (or actually realize there are better value products out there). Historically, this last about two decades and many product generations, since Apple users tollerate almost everything. When this tipping point is reached, Apple will add features the rest of the world has had for a century, and the sheep, I mean users, will come back and buy their 10ths apple watch because it allows the new.invention of tgird party watch faces
  • The presence of Mickey Mouse suggests that if they do third party faces at all, it will be a similar deal with some other corporation that want's to advertise themselves, so those you mention (although all pretty gross and awful to me) are actually quite likely.
  • Well, I guess a developer could then create an app that has faces AND, plays tic tac toe and then you could argue it's only 50% of the app.....
  • I'd like to see 3rd party faces available....I'm thinking then movie studios, TV studios, musical artists, could all monetize things. Heck, how about a a face with Captain Picard, or Ron Burgandy, or even the coutdown clock from Lost.....etc...
  • And would those faces all be properly licensed? This is could be to prevent widespread IP abuse, to preserve taste (the Pebble store is littered with horrible watch faces, amongst the few good ones), or to prevent battery-hogging apps that constantly update the screen.
  • I know. I guess what I am saying, is I hope Apple opens up enough to at least work with, say, a movie studio so we can get some neat facesbut that are properly licensed, and do NOT kill battery, etc..... I have always thought this was a missed opportunity for companies like Garmin. Imagine the $ Garmin could make if they paid someone like Patrick Stewart to provide his voice and then sold the voice package!
  • I don't plan on getting the Apple Watch until there is an appropriate adjustment in either the price or my bank account. However, when I played with the stuck-to-iPad demo, I was sorely disappointed with the watch faces & their customizability. I had my Pebble exactly how I wanted it until an update broke it. Then I tweaked an existing face I found on the store. Close enough I guess. My biggest gripe is that on the aWatch is the time is displayed rather small (digital) unless you use the enormous font that literally is the only thing on the screen. There need to be 3rd party faces that can still grab the same widgets as the built in. It will happen eventually.
    Here's appx what I have on my pebble:
    .
    2015 (small)
    04-28 (med)
    Mon (med)
    13:59 (large)
    .
    That's it. Simple. Can't do it on the aWatch. I don't need constant weather, stocks etc. Maybe my next appointment.
    Okay, lunch break over. Sent from the iMore App
  • You guys really need to get some hand models with more attractive wrists.
  • Ha! No doubt!
  • Disappointed that no 3rd party watch faces are coming soon. The 10 that are there are a bit underwhelming but do tell the time. Bring back the jellyfish! :) Sent from the iMore App
  • Huh, jellyfish is still there.
  • Oh, Apple.
  • So if you leave the photo app as your last app you can raise your wrist to see your wallpaper and double click for the time. This is as close as I can get to custom for now. Sent from the iMore App
  • Ok so the glance returns to watch face darn it! Sent from the iMore App
  • Gee, don't you love Apple?
  • no worries, Apple fans will gleefully comply because A) Apple is always right and B) they don't have a choice. Apple tells them what they want and what they will like and they always comply. Good little iLemmings
  • Yes I found jellyfish by customizing the butterfly. Sent from the iMore App
  • Well I hope they are not rejecting 3rd party face watches. Sent from the iMore App
  • Queue the hordes of apple users that will have NO problem with this and justify it "Well, I dont even use a watch anyway to tell time"
  • Just protecting themselves from copyright infringement, it cost them $21 million the last time they used the Swiss railway clock without permission.
  • Isn't this basic smart watch functionality? Why no options? It reminds me of the first iPhone. Had to have it but if I recall correctly I couldn't use my own ring tones! Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • Every other watch I had before only had the option for one watch face. Some where even more expensive. Is ten really that big of a problem? Sent from the iMore App
  • Although an Apple device owner, I am GLAD my Samsung Gear S smartwatch has hundreds of watchfaces and an app that lets you create your own. Sure I am about the apps, but I change my watchface daily too on my watch and it seems kind of a big deal to NOT be able to do it....