Developer hacks custom watch face onto Apple Watch

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited August 2015
In a post to Twitter on Tuesday, developer Hamza Sood revealed an Apple Watch hack that bypasses Apple's restriction against installing third-party watch faces on the device.




Sood, who is well known for digging into Apple code, said he was able to roll his own watch face source code, complete with customizable color schemes, up and running on his Apple Watch after some "haxx."

The result, seen below, is a custom animated watch face playing the "Onoz Omg" meme against a psychedelic flashing background. Sood is able to change the background's two primary colors using Apple's watch face customization user interface, activated by a force press.

After some haxx... Custom watch faces on Apple Watch!

Watch face source code is on GitHub:
https://t.co/7ZvOz8nK34 pic.twitter.com/nQGJKlp6kt

-- Hamza Sood (@hamzasood)


Sood posted the custom watch face source code on GitHub and works with Apple Watch units running watchOS 2.

Apple is expected to launch watchOS 2 this fall with a slew of new features including support for native third-party apps and complications, a nightstand mode, enhanced Siri functionality and Activation Lock, among others. Custom watch face support is not on the list.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 43
    dunksdunks Posts: 1,233member
    A flawless presentation of why Apple doesn't support this functionality in the first place.
  • Reply 2 of 43
    prokipprokip Posts: 140member
    Very cool !! I want that watch face. !!! OMG !!!!
  • Reply 3 of 43
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    dunks wrote: »
    A flawless presentation of why Apple doesn't support this functionality in the first place.

    Yeah I can only imagine the crap that would be developed is Apple opened this up. The worst are the skeuomorphic analog watch faces for Android Wear that have faux shadows/lighting.

    diver-300m-co-axial-chronograph-14f42310a7c.png?v=14f42364164
  • Reply 4 of 43
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,708member

    I remember when the first Intel Macs came out and it was suspected that Windows could be made to run. Hackers came up with crude ways of doing it all the while lambasting Apple about it. There was even a startup or two that started offering packages to install Windows. And then Boot Camp came out.

     

    No doubt Apple will allow this someday when the time is right and they can control it. It’s their hardware and their software and they have a reputation to protect.

  • Reply 5 of 43
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,107member
    Apple will eventually open this up more, but I can't blame them for not wanting the first Apple watches to be shown using hideous watch faces.
  • Reply 6 of 43
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    As already stated, Apple will open this up, but this is back burner stuff. If you're reasoning for getting Android Wear over Apple Watch is the customizable watch faces then you were never really on Apple's radar to begin with.

    Personally, I did very little to change my watch face complications from what [I]I think was[/I] the default setup it arrived with. The only changes I recall making is adding the battery life since earlier version of wOS 2.0 beta were draining faster it should resulting in having to a quick spot charge during the day.
  • Reply 7 of 43
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,376member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post





    Yeah I can only imagine the crap that would be developed is Apple opened this up. 



    Why do you care so much what other people do with their property?

  • Reply 8 of 43
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,708member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Mac_128 View Post

     



    Why do you care so much what other people do with their property?




    Because what some idiot does to ‘his’ property can reflect badly on Apple’s reputation. And the hack described here does just that. It makes the product look ridiculous. 

  • Reply 9 of 43
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    mac_128 wrote: »

    Why do you care so much what other people do with their property?

    I think Apple has more important things they should be focused on with the Watch right now. I'm sure they'll come; maybe this fall or next spring. Of course there's the issue of curation would Apple open it up and say whatever you want to create is fine by us? With no concerns over trademark or copywrite (because we know someone would be putting faux luxury watch faces out there).
  • Reply 10 of 43
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    lkrupp wrote: »

    Because what some idiot does to ‘his’ property can reflect badly on Apple’s reputation. And the hack described here does just that. It makes the product look ridiculous. 

    Exactly. Google might not care about Android brand but Apple cares about its brand. Apple has a MFI like program for 3rd party bands. Maybe they'll do something similar for watch faces. Something more controlled so we don't end up with things like this:

    bettie-page-15-148af770670.png?v=148af770530
  • Reply 11 of 43
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,107member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mac_128 View Post

     



    Why do you care so much what other people do with their property?


     

    He's looking at it from Apple's point of view, and from a marketing and PR perspective, obviously. Do you really think he PERSONALLY cares about what people do with their Watches? We're looking at it from Apple's point of view, and rationalizing why complete visual freedom is probably not the best way to go, at least not this early when the product is being defined and shown off to others. 

     

    Rogifan: That 2nd one is fucked up. 

  • Reply 12 of 43
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Btw, home screen wallpaper didn't come to iPhone until iOS 4.0 in 2010.
  • Reply 13 of 43
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,427member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

     

    I remember when the first Intel Macs came out and it was suspected that Windows could be made to run. Hackers came up with crude ways of doing it all the while lambasting Apple about it. There was even a startup or two that started offering packages to install Windows. And then Boot Camp came out.

     

    No doubt Apple will allow this someday when the time is right and they can control it. It’s their hardware and their software and they have a reputation to protect.




    My history is hazy on this one, but didn't Apple buy a company that was doing all the running-Windows hacks, and made Bootcamp from that?  It's been so long now...

  • Reply 14 of 43
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,427member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post





    Exactly. Google might not care about Android brand but Apple cares about its brand. Apple has a MFI like program for 3rd party bands. Maybe they'll do something similar for watch faces. Something more controlled so we don't end up with things like this:...

     

     

    Those pictures are precisely why they belong on Android watches...

  • Reply 15 of 43
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post





    Yeah I can only imagine the crap that would be developed is Apple opened this up. The worst are the skeuomorphic analog watch faces for Android Wear that have faux shadows/lighting.



    diver-300m-co-axial-chronograph-14f42310a7c.png?v=14f42364164



    Yuck, that's an ugly face! In this particular circumstance, I agree with you.

     

    However, my fear about skeoumorphism is the very fact that Apple has for the most part abandoned it. There are somethings that go well with skeoumorphism. Now that Apple has jumped on the flat bandwagon, my worry is that some bright person in 5 or 6 years will come up with some new program that uses skeoumorphism galore, and then people with be like "Wowee! No one has ever done anything like that before!" And then Apple will be at a loss. Although that picture gives me the chills. ball;sighed;ossify;oiafjew;doafhdso;fneor;fhsiulfhzduisfaoherifhdsjkhvfipudehgorishfv

  • Reply 16 of 43
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,376member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post





     Of course there's the issue of curation would Apple open it up and say whatever you want to create is fine by us? With no concerns over trademark or copywrite (because we know someone would be putting faux luxury watch faces out there).



    And how exactly is this any different from allowing third party band makers to customize the watches, something far more visible than the glimpse of the watch face which stays on only briefly typically for the exclusive view of the wearer? More over, what about all those cheap watch bands that have flooded the market, on Amazon and eBay, some of which could also break copyrights, like a faux Louis Vuitton band? And how is this any different than if I have a copyrighted picture I stole off the internet as the wallpaper for my iPhone? That's far more visible than anything someone else might see on a watch. Or how about that copyrighted ringtone I'm using on my iPhone, that I also stole off the internet?

  • Reply 17 of 43
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,376member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post





    Exactly. Google might not care about Android brand but Apple cares about its brand. Apple has a MFI like program for 3rd party bands. Maybe they'll do something similar for watch faces. Something more controlled so we don't end up with things like this:







     

     

    And yet I can have pictures like this on the home screen wallpaper of my iPhone now. In fact, with Watch OS2 I will be able to post any photo I want as the wallpaper behind a clock display. And a person could post equally as tasteless photos there. As well as copyrighted ones. So truly where is the problem with allowing users to select custom watch faces? So far none of your arguments agains it amount to anything more than personal bias.

     

    The only argument you have going that I will agree with is that there is presently far too much work to do on the Watch OS to focus efforts on curating custom watch faces. 

     

    EDIT: Deleted Rogifan's tasteless graphics -- once was enough.

  • Reply 18 of 43
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    mac_128 wrote: »
    And yet I can have pictures like this on the home screen wallpaper of my iPhone now. In fact, with Watch OS2 I will be able to post any photo I want as the wallpaper behind a clock display. And a person could post equally as tasteless photos there. As well as copyrighted ones. So truly where is the problem with allowing users to select custom watch faces? So far none of your arguments agains it amount to anything more than personal bias.

    The only argument you have going that I will agree with is that there is presently far too much work to do on the Watch OS to focus efforts on curating custom watch faces. 

    To me it's kind of like the porn argument that if you can get it on Safari (or any other browser) you should be able download it from the App Store. I'm sure at some point we will get 3rd party faces. But I have no problem with Apple taking the time to get it right and have the proper curation in place.
  • Reply 19 of 43
    slurpy wrote: »
    I can't blame them for not wanting the first Apple watches to be shown using hideous watch faces.


    This.
  • Reply 20 of 43
    dreyfus2dreyfus2 Posts: 1,069member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post



    Exactly. Google might not care about Android brand but Apple cares about its brand. Apple has a MFI like program for 3rd party bands. Maybe they'll do something similar for watch faces. Something more controlled so we don't end up with things like this:

     

    While these are terrible, they won't make anybody think "wow, Google really has no taste". It is pretty obvious that the moron wearing the watch made that choice. And you can bet that the person wearing the watch will be greater damage to the image of the product than the image on the product. Trying to control that is a fool's errand.

     

    (I do understand that Apple has different priorities, and I do not really need tons of watch faces myself, but of course there are always little things you would like to change and can't. E.g. I would love to use the Modular watch face with white text, but this automatically changes the secondary text color to gray, which I can barely read... Technically the most minor of issues, I know, but it irks me every day.)

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