One of the mysteries that has intrigued Apple Watch users has finally received a direct response from a high-ranking Apple executive. Why does the company not allow the installation of third-party watch faces on its watch?
Apple’s Vice President of Technology, Kevin Lynch, in an interview with the Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger, was questioned about the possibility of having watch faces developed by third parties.
In response, Lynch highlighted that the watch face is the home screen of the Apple Watch, and the company wants to ensure that users don’t have to worry about the functionality of these watch faces after major operating system updates, known as watchOS.
Imagine if a user had installed a third-party watch face that wasn’t compatible with a new version of watchOS.
The result would be an endless sequence of crashes and reboots, causing frustration for the user.
To avoid this scenario, Apple chose to maintain control over the watch faces of the Apple Watch, ensuring compatibility with operating system updates.
This Apple’s decision is not exclusive to the Apple Watch. The company also doesn’t allow users to change the home screen on their iPhones and iPads.
By maintaining control over the appearance and functionality of these devices, Apple ensures a consistent and reliable experience for users.
Although the restriction on third-party watch faces has disappointed some Apple Watch users, the company seeks to compensate for this limitation with other customization options.
Users can still choose from a variety of watch faces developed by Apple themselves, and the new watchOS 10 added support for widgets, providing greater flexibility on the device’s home screen.
Apple’s justification seems quite superficial. It’s like saying, “We will not allow the installation of third-party apps because we don’t know if they will be compatible with system updates“.
Yes, iPhone apps face the same risk, and that’s why Apple spends two and a half months releasing beta versions to give developers time to adapt their code.
For those who like hacks, it is even possible to change the watch face on the Apple Watch, even without jailbreaking.
There are applications that have some inconveniences, such as needing to keep them open all the time, and they are not always well integrated with the system. However, it can work to impress friends on certain occasions.
Here are some examples (click on the images to enlarge them):
If there is interest from our readers, we may create a tutorial in the future on how to use alternate watch faces on the Apple Watch. 😉⌚️