Since the first Apple Watch came out in 2015, users haven’t been able to change the watch face, aside from using the ones that Apple has made. Yet the company is looking to change that with support for third-party Apple Watch faces.
Android Wear OS and Pebble devices have had this feature for years. The most you could do on an Apple Watch is customize the pre-made faces from Apple. However, there is hope for all of the modders and designers out there.
Code spotted by 9to5Mac from a component of the NanoTimeKit framework in watchOS 4.3.1, which manages the Apple Watch faces, shows an ominous log message. It’s just a comment in the code, however it is explicit. The message reads: “this is where the 3rd party face config bundle generation would happen.”
Nothing is guaranteed, yet
While the message is just a placeholder for future code, it does indicate that Apple has more up its sleeve for the Apple Watch.
Having support for third-party Apple Watch faces would allow developers to design custom watch faces that suit every personality and application. Since some of these would probably be ridden with bugs, we would expect Apple to have some sort of vetting option in place.
However, support for third part Apple Watch faces is in the very early stages at the moment. It’s unlikely that we’ll see anything relating to it until the WWDC in June. Just a mention of it though is good news to the people who are frustrated by the limited face choices Apple has given them.