Here is a super interesting article from David Shayer on Tidbits about why there may never be third-party Apple Watch Faces. According to this software engineer who worked on the first two releases of watchOS, there may be four reasons why Apple probably won’t make a watch face store: battery life, buggy code, Apple’s image, copyright worries. Besides many interesting insights on watchOS development and testing, the reason that caught my attention is about Apple desire to control their image.
What is the killer app of the Apple Watch? The watch face, duh! Apple is an image control freak and I don’t think they want a watch face store full of crappy and bad taste designs to show up on users’ Apple Watch. They lost control of the App Store, they don’t want the same story to happen with the watch. And I agree with this position. But there could be some sort of compromise, though. As pointed out by Matt Birchler in his commentary post to Tidbits article:
“CarPlay is a great example of how Apple could do this right with watch faces: only allow a certain number of companies to make custom watch faces. have them sign additional agreements and have them go through tougher reviews. Maybe there are literally 10 companies who are able to make watch faces. Maybe Apple can reject a watch face simply because they don’t like how it looks.”
My guess is that Apple will look to add more watch faces through collaborative work, just like they did in watchOS 7 with the Artist watch face.
Photo by Daniel Korpai — Unsplasg