Inside watchOS 3: Apple Watch app in iOS 10 lets you browse & customize watch faces

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited June 2016
One key new feature in watchOS 3 comes in tandem with iOS 10, allowing users to view, add and edit watch faces to their liking with more screen real estate, via the Apple Watch app on an iPhone.



After updating their Apple Watch to watchOS 3 and iPhone to iOS 10, users will find a pair of new features in the official Apple Watch app related to watch faces. First, under the "My Watch" tab, is a new menu called "My Faces" that displays all watch faces currently enabled on the device.

Users can scroll through their watch faces, or tap an "Edit" button to rearrange their order or remove them.

Tapping on a watch face brings up all of the customization options available, including color, detail, and complications. With the chronograph watch face, users can customize the timescale to their liking, while the timelapse watch face allows users to select a location.

Below the settings for each watch face are options to set the selection as the current watch face, or to remove the watch face. On the Apple Watch itself, switching between faces is also simplified with new edge swipe gestures on the left and right side of the display.



The addition of "My Faces" to the Apple Watch app for iPhone makes it much easier to customize the look of the device, offering a much larger display to view and select different options.

In what could prove to be a precursor for a full-fledged watch face app store, the Apple Watch app in iOS 10 has also added a new "Face Gallery" tab. Here, users can view all of the available watch face options, and preview the different combinations of settings before adding it to the Apple Watch.

Each face in the gallery comes with a text description describing their look and feel, as well as some of the ideas that went into their creation. The four new watch faces found in watchOS 3 -- activity digital, numerals, Minnie Mouse and activity analog --?are also spotlighted in their own section.



Below that, the rest of the watch faces in the gallery presented with their own sections. Within those, users can scroll through different configurations of each face. From there, simply select one, customize it to your liking, and hit the "Add" button to install it directly on the Apple Watch.

"My Faces" and the "Face Gallery" require both watchOS 3 and iOS 10, both of which are currently available to developers for pre-release beta testing. A public beta is scheduled to begin in July, and both watchOS 3 and iOS 10 will launch to the public this fall.



For more, see AppleInsider's Inside watchOS 3 series, parts of which are included below:

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    TurboPGTTurboPGT Posts: 355member
    Kinda wish they had opened Watch Faces up to developers. Not just the Complications, but literally developing whole customizable Watch Faces. There is no denying that the Watch Face is intensely personal; everyone has a slightly different idea on what should be there and how it should look. Apple has added quite a bit of customization on their own, but I still think some more would be nice. I have a vague idea of what I would like to see on the Watch Face, and despite the multitude of options, I still can't quite create one that is perfect for me.

    Had they opened this up to devs, I could conceivably create my own right from the source material.
    edited June 2016 slprescottrepressthis
  • Reply 2 of 10
    TurboPGT said:
    Kinda wish they had opened Watch Faces up to developers. Not just the Complications, but literally developing whole customizable Watch Faces. There is no denying that the Watch Face is intensely personal; everyone has a slightly different idea on what should be there and how it should look. Apple has added quite a bit of customization on their own, but I still think some more would be nice. I have a vague idea of what I would like to see on the Watch Face, and despite the multitude of options, I still can't quite create one that is perfect for me.

    Had they opened this up to devs, I could conceivably create my own right from the source material.
    Apple has never opened up their OSs to third parties for customization so why would they do it with the Apple Watch? I get that we all want more customization, but I don't think Apple wants crappy third party "skins" (I guess is what the Android people would call them) on their beautiful Apple Watch. Would Rolex allow anybody to just design their own watch faces to go on their watches?
  • Reply 3 of 10
    irelandireland Posts: 17,547member
    I don't unstained why some people are clamouring for custom faces considering you can add any photo to the photo face and you can customise every face now in so many ways. Sometimes having too many choices makes a product worse for more people.
    edited June 2016
  • Reply 4 of 10
    VisualSeedVisualSeed Posts: 217member
    TurboPGT said:
    Kinda wish they had opened Watch Faces up to developers. Not just the Complications, but literally developing whole customizable Watch Faces. There is no denying that the Watch Face is intensely personal; everyone has a slightly different idea on what should be there and how it should look. Apple has added quite a bit of customization on their own, but I still think some more would be nice. I have a vague idea of what I would like to see on the Watch Face, and despite the multitude of options, I still can't quite create one that is perfect for me.

    Had they opened this up to devs, I could conceivably create my own right from the source material.
    Apple has never opened up their OSs to third parties for customization so why would they do it with the Apple Watch? I get that we all want more customization, but I don't think Apple wants crappy third party "skins" (I guess is what the Android people would call them) on their beautiful Apple Watch. Would Rolex allow anybody to just design their own watch faces to go on their watches?
    While I'm a pretty big supporter of Apple keeping their UI clean and I generally have no problems with Apple's design choices, I look at watch faces as being more like custom apps. If Apple allows me to use my own photos for watch faces the argument that they want consistency of their brand image is lost. To your argument, Rolex actually offers a fair amount of customization to their customers and don't prevent third parties from making them as beautiful or as ugly as their wallets will allow. 
    edited June 2016
  • Reply 5 of 10
    TurboPGTTurboPGT Posts: 355member
    ireland said:
    I don't unstained why some people are clamouring for custom faces considering you can add any photo to the photo face and you can customise every face now in so many ways. Sometimes having too many choices makes a product worse for more people.
    Frankly, the options are not that vast, and I think it could be better.

    I'm not talking about fucking photo backgrounds either, but thanks for diminishing my point that way. I'm talking about the size and positioning of things like digital time, dates, and complications. These are things that they've provided a handful of choices for, they are good, but not great.
    brucemc
  • Reply 6 of 10
    TurboPGTTurboPGT Posts: 355member

    TurboPGT said:
    Kinda wish they had opened Watch Faces up to developers. Not just the Complications, but literally developing whole customizable Watch Faces. There is no denying that the Watch Face is intensely personal; everyone has a slightly different idea on what should be there and how it should look. Apple has added quite a bit of customization on their own, but I still think some more would be nice. I have a vague idea of what I would like to see on the Watch Face, and despite the multitude of options, I still can't quite create one that is perfect for me.

    Had they opened this up to devs, I could conceivably create my own right from the source material.
    Apple has never opened up their OSs to third parties for customization so why would they do it with the Apple Watch? I get that we all want more customization, but I don't think Apple wants crappy third party "skins" (I guess is what the Android people would call them) on their beautiful Apple Watch. Would Rolex allow anybody to just design their own watch faces to go on their watches?
    What makes you think Watch Faces could not be packaged and delivered to a Watch? It has nothing to do with "opening up the OS".
  • Reply 7 of 10
    TurboPGT said:
    ireland said:
    I don't unstained why some people are clamouring for custom faces considering you can add any photo to the photo face and you can customise every face now in so many ways. Sometimes having too many choices makes a product worse for more people.
    Frankly, the options are not that vast, and I think it could be better.

    I'm not talking about fucking photo backgrounds either, but thanks for diminishing my point that way. I'm talking about the size and positioning of things like digital time, dates, and complications. These are things that they've provided a handful of choices for, they are good, but not great.
    Ah, yeah I see your point on this. It would be nice to have a little bit more freedom how things are presented. 
  • Reply 8 of 10
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    I'm not interested in custom faces but I'm certain it will happen in time. they're only now getting a handle on the OS itself, and surely the new options are part of new APIs that will eventually be opened up. it's just too soon. see apps, Siri, Messages, etc... same pattern. 
  • Reply 9 of 10
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 393member
    TurboPGT said:
    Kinda wish they had opened Watch Faces up to developers. Not just the Complications, but literally developing whole customizable Watch Faces. There is no denying that the Watch Face is intensely personal; everyone has a slightly different idea on what should be there and how it should look. Apple has added quite a bit of customization on their own, but I still think some more would be nice. I have a vague idea of what I would like to see on the Watch Face, and despite the multitude of options, I still can't quite create one that is perfect for me.

    Had they opened this up to devs, I could conceivably create my own right from the source material.
    Apple has never opened up their OSs to third parties for customization so why would they do it with the Apple Watch? I get that we all want more customization, but I don't think Apple wants crappy third party "skins" (I guess is what the Android people would call them) on their beautiful Apple Watch. Would Rolex allow anybody to just design their own watch faces to go on their watches?
    I hadn't thought about it this way, but yes, there's an issue there from Apple's perspective. Were they to open up watch faces to third parties, they would have to maintain some kind of aesthetic quality control over what gets approved to go out there. How exactly do you do that in a "fair" way? That'd be hard to accomplish without opening a up whole can of really unpleasant worms. Somebody will constantly be mad when their design is rejected because it fails to meet Apple's aesthetic standard, which would be hard to clearly define and explain.

    You can change the background photos on your iPhone, but you can't fundamentally change the overall look of the lock screen or 'desktop.' Aesthetics and design are at the core of Apple's identity (no pun intended), so I don't see them excited about turning (literally) the face of one of their products over to third parties. While a particular ugly design might be what a specific user wants, Apple isn't going to be happy if the result is that other people might see a crappy, cheap-looking watch face on somebody's wrist and then associate that with Apple. For this reason, they may just opt to keep watch face designs in-house.
  • Reply 10 of 10
    bestkeptsecretbestkeptsecret Posts: 3,175member

    I am pretty excited about the option to further customise watch faces and I like the idea of swiping between watch faces instantly. watchOS 3 seems like a winner.

    I know a lot of people dissed the Mickey Mouse face, but I find it fascinating because it shows the attention to detail that Apple gives, like how the direction of the face and the leg that denotes seconds also indicate which quarter of the day it is and the way Mickey blinks from time to time. It is an amazing animation and I hope there are more like it soon.

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