February 28, 2024

Apple Watch: Why third-party watch faces will likely remain a pipe dream

On many Apple Watch wishlists, there is high hope for the third dial. Apple only offers its own dials on its watch. Although this view is constantly expanding, it remains manageable unlike the application view. However, in an interview, two Apple officials did not comment, hoping that the watch would be opened in this field in the future. In the interview, Kevin Lynch, responsible for Apple Watch software, and Deidre Caldbeck, responsible for global marketing for the watch, provided insights into the development process for new watchOS versions.

“We see the face as a kind of home screen for a watch,” says Lynch. In an interview with Tagesanzeiger in Switzerland. Since Apple also sees the home screen on the iPhone and iPad as a component of the system, there will likely be only small compromises in the future, such as complications in the dial or new widgets in watchOS 10. Above all, Apple fears problems with the watch’s functionality if it Watch faces will be shared with third party developers. If only Apple took care of that, then surely everything would continue to work “uniformly and simply”. In addition, the US company would limit design freedom if it opened this central part of the system to all application developers.

After fairly small updates in previous years with remapped buttons and a changing concept of gadgets being summoned by flipping the Digital Crown, watchOS 10 is also a menace inside. “Changes like this always take a lot of courage. A lot of people like it the way it is,” says Lynch.

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In the conversation, Lynch and Caldbeck offered insights that are unusual for Apple, such as the watch’s hardware, software, and design teams all sitting close together and in one part of Apple Park, and that there’s always a big brainstorming meeting at the start of a new software release standing. In such rounds, user requests that are often overheard are also processed. The interview summary also goes into the development of the watch and its software, which initially saw some major course corrections.

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