15
Apr
2018

Third-party faces may be coming to Apple Watch

Curious code strings Brazilian developer Guilherme Rambo has managed to unearth from the watchOS 4.3.1 beta could hint at future support for third-party faces on Apple Watch.

The latest watchOS beta apparently includes a hidden watch face that can display “some sort of document exported from an internal macOS app,” Guilherme wrote Saturday on Twitter. He added that this app is internally named “Mica” and probably Core Animation based. Others have confirmed that Mica is Apple’s UI vector design, animation and prototyping tool.

watchOS has a hidden watch face that can display some sort of document exported from an internal macOS app (probably Core Animation based) pic.twitter.com/XJRxGnjULd

— Guilherme Rambo (@_inside) April 14, 2018

Although each new major iteration of Apple’s wearable operating system brings some fresh new faces along with new complications and other enhancements, Apple so far has refused to open up watch faces to third-party developers. Apple did partner with some major companies on branded watch faces, including Disney and Pixar characters.

Users have also been able to create a custom slideshow-type face from their photos.

Many Apple Watch owners have been asking for third-party watch faces. Apple could have done it already but my guess is they wisely chose to postpone this capability until a faster Apple Watch processor became available. This is important because you want those custom faces to be performant and battery-friendly. We don’t want a misbehaving face slowing down our wrist computer.

Apple will be previewing watchOS 5 and other major software updates at its Worldwide Developers Conference in June, but it remains to be seen if they’re ready to share news regarding third-party watch faces.

Should Apple prioritize support for third-party watch faces in watchOS 5?

Let us know in the comments!

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