Don’t expect a flood of third-party watch faces to hit Apple’s wearable over the next few months. New App Store guidelines, spotted by 9to5Mac, reveal Apple has plans to reject apps that exist merely to tell time. In other words, you’re stuck with what Apple gives you.
This rule has actually been enforced since WatchKit submissions began being accepted by Apple, 9to5Mac says; the change simply reinforces the rule in official documentation. As of now, the Apple Watch does not support third-party faces, and it doesn’t appear Apple has plans to change that format in the near—or distant—future.
Right now, Apple Watch users have ten different watch faces to choose from, all of which can be customized to a certain degree. But any owners—and, indeed developers—hoping to further personalize their Apple Watch will be sorely disappointed.
Apple does have plans to roll out a native SDK later this year, but it’s unclear if things will change. Given Apple’s tight grip over its ecosystem, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the company reject (nay: ignore) the potential of third-party watch faces. The good news? The same documentation also suggests that Apple may soon roll out additional first party watch faces. Considering the high quality of the first batch, that might just be good enough.