Four Reasons Why We Don’t See Third-Party Apple Watch Faces (What Apple Does Instead)

Apple Watch users have been wanting third-party watch faces since the introduction of the Apple Watch in 2015, and developers have long wanted to create custom watch faces. But users, developers and a Well known podcaster, They probably did not come.

As an Apple software engineer, I worked on the first two releases of WatchOS, so I am familiar with many of Apple Watch’s internal business transactions. While I have no information about the current versions of the WatchOS and Apple Watch hardware, there are at least four reasons to think that Apple will not support third-party watch faces at any time.

Reason # 1: Battery life

Battery life is the main reason why Apple does not allow third-party watch faces. On the Apple Watch Series 5 and Series 6, the face of the watch is displayed almost all the time. The code that drives the watch face uses as little power as possible. Apple engineers are working hard to ensure that the Watch Face code is powerful.

These efforts go far beyond simple tricks such as covering the second hand when the face is dimmed as the animation gains more power than the static scene. Apple engineers have a close knowledge of how WatchOS graphics visualizes and how Apple Watch’s GPU works, and better or worse, this information is private. They know which graphics techniques use the least power. Their animation techniques are very energy efficient. They have access to private graphics APIs not available to third-party developers. They include internal testing and measurement tools not provided by the company to third-party developers.

The Apple Watch did not accidentally reach battery life throughout the day. Apple engineers spend thousands of hours coding power efficiently. Every night, Apple’s automated creation system creates a new control watch called Daily Creation, which uses the latest code changes verified in source control. (This applies to all Apple operating systems; see how to decode 8 Apple version and generate numbers. 8 July 2020.) Apple engineers use daily build, so they all run the latest version of WatchOS.

The daily creation is loaded on the rack of Apple watches in the electrical test lab. They run on a set of scripts that simulate normal use to see how long the batteries last. The results are published in the internal web dashboard that monitors battery life for each WatchOS build. If the battery life is reduced, engineers are hired to find out why and fix it. Battery life is a rarity with the Apple Watch team.

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No matter how talented or diligent they may be, third-party developers may not be as strict about battery life as Apple demands internal graphics knowledge, private API access or testing tools. If Apple now opens watch-face development for third-party developers, battery life will almost certainly decrease, which will result in a worse Apple Watch experience for users.

Reason # 2: Non-standard code

The WatchOS code that runs on the watch face runs 24 months and 24 months. This should be as completely error-free as possible. It is unacceptable to look at your watch and find that the face is frozen, dysfunctional, or has a visible defect. The Apple Watch team does the biggest amount of testing on the watch code. Those engineers hire automated tests, manual tests, and thousands of Apple employees to use beta copies of the Watch and report any issues.

During my years at Apple, I have deeply respected Apple’s software quality assurance (SQA) engineers. They do tremendous work. When sending software with errors, this is usually not because SQA did not report a problem, but because the timetable does not allow it to be detected and fixed (“See how to report bugs to Apple so they are fixed,” 17 June 2020).

Only the largest third-party developers, such as Microsoft and Google, have equal testing resources. Small developers cannot guarantee the required quality of the watch face code. Even if they could, it would not be economically feasible for them to spend more time testing clock faces, which would quickly become an item in the App Store. Apple does not want to subject itself to that level of testing as part of allowing third-party watch faces in the App Store.

Reason # 3: Apple’s picture

One drawback is that Apple is very image sensitive. Apple takes care of every detail of its general personality, from the Mac desktop background to the iPhone colors, and even expands to the perfect shade of wood on the Apple Store table. Steve Jobs inspected dozens of white cables before choosing the specific shade of white on the iconic iPad and iPhone earbuds.

The watch face is the general face of the Apple Watch. This is what everyone sees when they see someone wearing an Apple Watch. It should be beautiful, contemporary and polished.

There are definitely some third party developers who create beautiful applications. However, as you go through the App Store, you will find numerous applications whose design is uninteresting and many more ugly.

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Apple Watch Apple does not want to play with a beautiful, flat or obvious disgruntled face, even if you want to. Apple does not want to be in the business of deciding which watch faces are as stylish as they appear on the watch. Apple considers its own designers to be doing a great job of creating highly customizable faces, and this adds more faces with each WatchOS update.

Reason # 3: Copyright concerns

If you have a portfolio within Apple that is not confusing, it is Apple Legal. Apple does not want to waste time and money fighting copyright infringement cases on surveillance faces. Apple Watch Apple Hermes for Hermes Many classic watch faces, such as the Hermes face, are copyrighted. Vintage faces were also designed long before smartwatches existed, so licensing such faces for digital use means negotiating with the copyright holder without even understanding the issues with digital licenses. The worst thing is that the App Store supports dozens of countries, and the copyright holder may be different in each country. This is a legal dream.

Apple is very familiar with the Watch Face copyright. Many years before the Apple Watch existed, the company had to do so Pay $ 21 million to the Swiss Federal Railway Service For license after “modifying” its iconic montane watch face for iOS 6.

Apple may require the developer to certify that it has a legal right to sell every watch face. But there is no easy way for the company to check if the developer is telling the truth, and because Apple is in deep pockets Apple will inevitably be named in case of any copyright infringement.

When Apple first launched the iTunes Music Store, it took a small number of lawyers to acquire the legal rights to sell all of those songs in all the countries where Apple operated. One of the reasons Apple Music took so long to deliver lyrics was that the written lyrics were licensed separately from the music.

Problems with recovery?

Third Party Issues: Apple considers there to be a feature that fulfills the option for users to customize their watch faces. Term Complicated Comes from the world of mechanical watches, which refers to additional information displayed over time. Common mechanical monitoring problems Includes date, day of the week and time in another time zone.

Apple Watch issues allow third-party applications to display additional information — usually a small amount of text and graphics on one of Apple’s Apple Watch faces. WatchOS offers a variety of shapes and styles of issues, and most watch faces can display a variety of issues.

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Time to not show any issues – this is reserved right for the watch face. A popular Apple Watch complex shows a small icon for weather, temperature and current conditions.

Problems are part of the application, but they have special restrictions. The problem code collects data such as the weather forecast for the day and sends it to the WatchOS in a standard data structure with details of when each data record is displayed. watchOS displays one data log at a time, and updates the display over time until it is time to load more data. This system is ideal for predictable, slow-changing data such as weather, ocean waves or the phase of the moon. This does not work well for data that needs to be constantly updated, such as stock prices.

Apple has designed third-party issues this way to save battery life. Problem code only runs for a few seconds, several times an hour. That way it can’t absorb too much power. Most of the time, WatchOS shows the problem using static data. It usually works well, but it restricts the well-referenced in a problem.

Extends watchOS 7 customization

With WatchOS 7, you can see how far Apple wants to go for the option for third-party watch faces. The changes include multiple issues from the same application, face sharing and some new faces.

Allowing multiple issues from a single application on the same tracking face may seem relatively small, but it gives applications more flexibility, provides more data than multiple issues, and allows users to organize those issues as they wish.

Watch face sharing may seem somewhat impressive, but users spend a lot of time customizing watch faces, including issues. It may take a little effort to get things done, and if you show your personalized watch face to a friend, you can easily share it with them now.

Finally, Apple added seven new watch faces to WatchOS 7, just like every new Watch OS release. New faces this time around include Artist, Chronograph Pro, Count Up, GMT, Memo, Stripes and Typograph. As you can see, Artist, Memoji and typography are relatively hollow bones, but the rest offer intricate spaces and other opportunities for customization.

watchOS 7 faces

These new features allow users to make their watches more personal than ever before. I hope Apple also has options for further customization for future versions of the WatchOS. But third-party surveillance faces are not on the horizon.

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About the Author: Seth Sale

"Passionate creator. Wannabe travel expert. Reader. Entrepreneur. Zombie aficionado. General thinker."

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