Apple at its Worldwide Developers Conference this morning announced a much-requested feature for Apple Watch: the ability to customize and share third-party watch faces with others. There are now over 20,000 Watch apps available on the Apple Watch App Store, but what has been missing was the ability to fully use all the data from your favorite apps in a single face on your Watch’s main screen. That’s now changing with watchOS 7, says Apple.
With the new software, developers will be able to create multiple, custom complications per app, which then can be used to create custom watch faces. For example, a surf app’s developer could create a “Surf Watch” face that shows things like water temperature, swell and wind speed predictions for your favorite beach. Parents can use the Glow Baby app to track changing and feeding times. Nike Run Club can display stats like the pace from your last run and your weekly run goals.
The developers will be able to build these new complications with SwiftUI, notes Apple.
Also in watchOS 7, users will be able to share their favorite watch faces that take advantage of all these new custom complications.
In the watchOS App Store, users will be able to discover curated watch faces from third-party apps. But they can also share watch faces they find on the App Store or elsewhere with family and friends through a new sharing feature.
Now, when you see a watch face you want to share, you just long press on the face to share it and pick a contact to send it to. Developers can also offer preconfigured watch faces right from their apps, and faces can be shared across social media, which could allow for watch faces to go viral in a way they’ve never been able to do before.
The feature could serve to add vitality to the watch platform whose app ecosystem has lagged behind that of other Apple platforms, like iOS.
Apple also says it’s bringing rich complications to more of its own watch faces, including a new chronograph face with a tachometer and an updated XL face.