iOS 11 Streamlines Creation of Custom Apple Watch Faces With New Share Sheet Option in Photos

Apple has made it easier than ever for users to create custom watch faces on their Apple Watch in iOS 11, thanks to a new share sheet option within Photos on iPhone.

On the current operating systems for iPhone and Apple Watch, users can choose a "Photo" watch face to add to their Apple Watch, but the only way to change the picture is to customize the face on the Apple Watch and swipe left and right through photos in a synced album. "Photo Album" is also available, which automatically shuffles up which picture will appear on Apple Watch -- again, within a selected album -- each time the wrist is raised.

ios 11 watch face creation
Now, Apple has added in a simple new share sheet to Photos on iOS 11, as spotted by French site Watch Generation [Google Translate]. After a photo is selected the sheet gives the option to "Create Watch Face," then users have to choose which face they prefer: a typical photo face where the image is presented as normal, or they can turn the image into one of Apple Watch's new kaleidoscope faces.

For the Photos face, users can now also select 10 custom images directly within the Watch app to add into the photo rotation of the watch face. This should make creating a custom Photos watch face much easier than the current method in iOS 10, where users either have to choose from one of the pre-set albums in iOS, or go into the Photos app to build a custom one with the images they want to see on their Apple Watch face.

ios 11 watch faces 2
For the kaleidoscope watch face, Apple appears to have multiple pre-set images to choose from that result in the distorted images seen at WWDC this week, including a flower and a few of the colorful exploding sand imagery already available as iOS wallpaper options. When users add in a custom image, it'll appear at the end of this list. There are also custom styles of kaleidoscope to choose from, including one that distorts images with triangular geometry ("Facet") and one with softer circles ("Radial").

Check out previous MacRumors coverage from WWDC week for more iOS 11 tidbits, including easier Wi-Fi password sharing, new AirPods controls, Control Center customization, QR code support in Camera, and more. There's also our hands-on video with the new iOS that walks through a few of the biggest additions to the iPhone software, which will launch for everyone sometime this fall.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 7
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)
Related Forums: Apple Watch, iOS 11

Top Rated Comments

Relentless Power Avatar
65 months ago
This is interesting. But what the Apple Watch really needs, is its own watch face store with an array of watch faces that the user can choose from. And allow a developer kit that the developers can have access to and create hundreds of watch faces to expand on the ones they have currently .
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
576316 Avatar
65 months ago
Not good enough. Why aren't Faces open to developers yet? This is the killer customisation feature that the Watch really needs. Keeping a tight control over it is garbage.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
LordQ Avatar
65 months ago
Users: We want to be able to customize the hands, the minute and hour marks, and add the Monogram to more faces!
Apple: Here's the Kaleidoscope face!
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
69Mustang Avatar
65 months ago
This is interesting. But what the Apple Watch really needs, is its own watch face store with an array of watch faces that the user can choose from. And allow a developer kit that the developers can have access to and create hundreds of watch faces to expand on the ones they have currently .
This. It seems like a no brainer. People like having the ability to personalize. If anything the sheer amount of watch bands on offer, OEM and 3rd part, should give Apple an indication that personalized watch faces is a good idea that would be nearly universally appreciated by AW owners.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MrGimper Avatar
65 months ago
The new watch faces are only useful to 5-year-olds or people who want to relive their LSD experiences of the 60s. Everyone else is out of luck.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Vanilla35 Avatar
65 months ago
While I think it's great that they're continuing to add to customization...at least let devs create watch faces. I would think that would be one of the top 5 features of a smart watch before it's released, not something that's still being tinkered with 3 generations in and 4 watch OS's later.

What harm could it do?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Pro Purple Front and Back MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro Renders Highlight Multiple Design Changes

Wednesday May 25, 2022 8:56 am PDT by
Leaker Jon Prosser today shared ostensibly accurate renders of the iPhone 14 Pro, providing the most accurate look yet at what the device could look like when it launches later this year. In the latest video on YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Prosser revealed renders of the iPhone 14 Pro made by Apple concept graphic designer Ian Zelbo, highlighting a range of specific design changes...
iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 14 Pro Screen Refresh Rate Upgrade Could Allow for Always-On Display

Tuesday May 24, 2022 7:23 am PDT by
Last year's iPhone 13 Pro models were the first of Apple's smartphones to come with 120Hz ProMotion displays, and while the two iPhone 14 Pro models will continue to feature the technology, their screens could well boast expanded refresh rate variability this time round. To bring ProMotion displays to the ‌iPhone 13 Pro models‌, Apple adopted LTPO panel technology with variable refresh...
iPad Pro USB C Feature Coral

Deals: Apple's iPad Pro Reaches Up to $449 Off in Amazon's Latest Sales

Wednesday May 25, 2022 10:09 am PDT by
Amazon is marking down a wide variety of 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models this week, with prices starting as low as $749.00 for the 11-inch tablet. You'll find the full list of sales below, all of which can be found on Amazon. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep...
apple account card

Wallet App Now Supports Apple Account Cards on iOS 15.5

Wednesday May 25, 2022 5:01 pm PDT by
Apple appears to have recently updated the Wallet app to allow users to add an Apple Account Card, which displays the Apple credit balance associated with an Apple ID. If you receive an App Store or Apple Store gift card, for example, it is added to an Apple Account that was previously visible in the App Store and Apple Store apps. As of today, the Apple Account balance can also be added to...
Apple Tap to Pay iPhone

Apple Stores Rolling Out iPhone-to-iPhone Contactless Payments Starting Today

Wednesday May 25, 2022 6:54 am PDT by
Apple in February unveiled a new "Tap to Pay on iPhone" feature that will allow compatible iPhones to accept payments via Apple Pay, contactless credit and debit cards, and other digital wallets, with no additional hardware required. Apple began testing the feature at its Apple Park Visitor Center earlier this month, and now Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has tweeted that the feature will begin...
apple wwdc 2022

Apple Shares WWDC 2022 Schedule, Keynote to Take Place June 6 at 10:00 a.m PT

Tuesday May 24, 2022 9:06 am PDT by
Apple today confirmed that the keynote event for the Worldwide Developers Conference will begin at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time on June 6, the first day of WWDC. The keynote will be an online-only event, though a select number of developers have been invited to the Apple Park campus for a viewing event. In addition to confirming the keynote date and time, Apple has shared the full WWDC 2022...