If there's one Apple Watch feature that some people have long cried out for, it's support for third-party watch faces, but it sounds like it's a feature that won't be coming to our wrists any time soon.
While some had hoped that Apple would add third-party watch face support to watchOS 10 when it was announced at WWDC on June 5, that didn't happen. And now in a new interview with a Swiss newspaper, Apple appears to have put the kibosh on the feature ever coming to its wearables.
Why is that? Apple says that you can't trust third-party watch faces to actually work.
Taking the worry out of wearables
The gist, it seems, is that Apple wants to be sure that the watch faces always work, no matter what. Apple sees the watch face as the Apple Watch's Home Screen, and users "don’t have to worry about the watch face still working when there’s a major watchOS update" if they install a future watchOS update. "We’ll take care of that," Caldbeck said.
Whether or not that's something that will satiate people calling for third-party Apple Watch face support remains to be seen, but it does seem like a flimsy argument. Apple could no doubt build an API that would handle all of the underpinnings of making the watch face work, ensuring that everything behaves as it should.
It would be interesting to hear what Apple Watch app developers have to say about the suggestion that they could break Apple Watches with their own watch faces, too.
Apple will no doubt argue that the best Apple Watch is one that can be relied on to work every time it's looked at.
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Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.
I’mm sorry apple, but that sounds like rubbish to me. If a third-party watch face fail to work properly then the user will simply uninstall it or reach out to the developer to fix the issue.Reply
I understand Apple and I think we are misunderstanding the watch face. Essentially, this is a desktop or the main landing page like any OS. Apple could make a launch page to auto start someone’s app that would satisfy this need. Most OS will have an auto launch feature to launch a GUI. That’s the solution.Reply
Nello said:I understand Apple and I think we are misunderstanding the watch face. Essentially, this is a desktop or the main landing page like any OS. Apple could make a launch page to auto start someone’s app that would satisfy this need. Most OS will have an auto launch feature to launch a GUI. That’s the solution.
I don’t think I’m misunderstanding. Apple is very strict on app requirements and you must follow the rules it provides in regard to their API. Right?
As someone stated in a similar thread, there are already a good amount of watch faces available from 3rd-party providers and several members of this forum has posted a good amount of screenshots depicting the various watch faces.
I don’t recall reading about any of those people having problems with them.
Well, I have a couple 3rd party watch face apps installed and they all work as advertised. They don’t do everything I want them to do, which is my I stick with the Apple Watch apps.Reply
But they do work.