Apple won’t loosen grip on Apple Watch faces – and for good reason


Despite some very significant changes to the Apple Watch user interface announced for watchOS 10, Apple is adamant its control over the underpinning watch faces will remain.

In a new interview with Apple executives, the company seemed to rule out enabling third-party watch faces to be loaded onto the device, citing potential usability concerns deriving from software updates.

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Speaking to the Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger, VPs Kevin Lynch and Deidre Caldbeck both said they want to ensure users can rely on their watch face – the first thing they interact with – to work reliably.

In comments translated from German (via 9to5Mac), Calbeck said that Apple Watch users “don’t have to worry about the watch face still working when there’s a major watchOS update. We’ll take care of that.”

It’s a salient point considering Apple’s software updates quite often require the developers to make changes of their own to wipe out a few bugs. That’d be slightly more disruptive if it affected the entire watch face.

Elsewhere in the interview, Apple said the new Smart Stack widgets system is something the company has been trying to master since the original watchOS, in terms of showing users important information without having to delve into an app.

In its presentation at WWDC In its presentation, Apple showed Smart Stack depicting bits of information like the weather and upcoming events from your calendar. The new UI is sure to feel at home on the Apple Watch, where quick glances are the name of the game.

Calbeck adds: “We already had Glances and other variants that do something similar. But now it’s really, really easy and intuitive. We’re extremely optimistic about that.”

As well as the new widgets, Apple has completely redesigned a host of the software’s most used apps, including Apple Maps, Weather, and Calls. Elsewhere the company has worked on making the Mindfulness app more useful, while golf, cycling and hiking tracking also gets better in watchOS 10.

The update is available in beta now and will release in full this autumn.

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