Apple Explains Why Third-Party Watch Faces Still Aren't Supported on watchOS 10

A common request from Apple Watch users over the years has been the ability to use third-party watch faces, but watchOS 10 still does not support this. In an interview with Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger published today, Apple's VP of Technology Kevin Lynch and product marketing employee Deidre Caldbeck explained why.

Apple Watch Faces watchOS 10 Feature Iridescent
The interview was spotted earlier by 9to5Mac's Benjamin Mayo, and the quotes below are machine translated from German.

Lynch said Apple puts a "huge amount of effort" into every watch face to ensure they work "uniformly and simply," and said Apple needs to plan ahead to make sure watch faces continue to work "if we want to change something or add new possibilities."

Caldbeck added that developers are able to create complications for their watchOS apps, which adds a layer of customization to watch faces by allowing for glanceable information to be displayed, such as a CARROT Weather forecast. Starting with watchOS 10, the new Smart Stack widgets feature offers space for up to three complications.

That's everything Apple had to say about the lack of third-party watch faces in the interview, which touches on several other watchOS 10 details.

watchOS 10 will be released later this year for the Apple Watch Series 4 and newer, and is currently available in beta for users with a free Apple developer account. A public beta is coming in July for users who do not wish to use the developer beta.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 9
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)

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Top Rated Comments

TheYayAreaLiving ?️ Avatar
14 months ago
It should be allowed. We pay a premium price for Apple Watch. I would love something like this.

Apple Watch face concept — Planning view

- Showing how your upcoming 12 hours are arranged
- Current 'timeblock' is highlighted
- Icons are linked to your different calendars, so you can see how much time you spend on different projects

Credit: Twitter- Fons Mans

Attachment Image
Score: 58 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DMG35 Avatar
14 months ago
Weak. They should allow them, period. It's not like they change the overall shape of the watch, ever. The watch faces from series 0 all work for God's sake on the Series 8 so I don't see how compatibility is an issue. Apple just wants control over the faces like they do everything else. That's fine, but spare me the BS of uniformity.
Score: 57 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dannyyankou Avatar
14 months ago
I don’t understand. Any third party watch faces would use watchOS’s APIs anyway, so if they break in a future software update, that’s on Apple, not the developer. Stop making excuses.
Score: 38 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macsplusmacs Avatar
14 months ago
All I have to say is way back at Apple Watch 1 or 2, my friend bought an Android watch.

Never have I ever seen SUCH UGLINESS as I did when he took me to the Android watch face store.

Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MrGimper Avatar
14 months ago
Ok, then maybe have more than 2 watch faces that adults would use then. Thanks.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jz0309 Avatar
14 months ago
so in other words - 3rd party watch faces will never come to watchOS, which is actually fine with me.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)