The Apple Watch is arguably one of the most defining pieces of technology in the last decade. The wearable has gained widespread popularity in recent years, even outselling the entire Swiss watch industry combined in 2019.
Regular updates combined with additional affordable and premium models have made it possible for just about anyone to get in on the act. For example, the latest addition to the range – the Apple Watch Ultra – packs in a host of rugged features, designed to appeal to adventurers and outdoorsy folk.
They aren't without criticism, though. I've personally been less than enamoured with the battery life on my Apple Watch SE. Others have raised questions over the ringfenced nature of the software platform, WatchOS.
One thing many have called for is third-party watch faces. There are options for these on the App Store, but many users want the integration to be a more seamless experience.
Recently, two Apple executives were quizzed on the topic in an interview with a Swiss newspaper. And if you're hoping for them to reveal this feature in the near future, it's bad news, I'm afraid.
Apple's Vice President of Software, Kevin Lynch, effectively shut down hopes of that coming anytime soon. He said that the watch face is the home screen of the device, and Apple want to ensure that it is always operating correctly.
By only offering in-house watch faces, they can retain control, making sure everything is seamlessly updated with new features. If third-party faces were enabled, users would risk them not working correctly when changes to the operating system were made.
That does make sense. At WWDC 2023, Apple unveiled WatchOS 10. That looks set to offer the biggest update to the way the watch works since it first launched almost a decade ago.
Still, it's a shame for users who would like more customisation options. Personalisation has always been tougher on Apple devices than competitors, but it's especially apparent on the Apple Watch. That was originally marketed as a fashion piece, and being able to tailor it to your style is a big part of that.
One way Apple could appease this is by releasing more watch faces of their own. In the latest update, only two new faces were included. More consistent releases of this nature could bridge the gap for users looking to make their watch more personal, without needing to find a third-party solution.