All I Want from watchOS 3 is Custom Watch Faces

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 1 min read

The above image is a quick mockup I made of Modular Pro, an Apple Watch watch face that I would download in a heartbeat if it were available. It takes what’s great about the current modular watch face and turns it up to 11. This design has room for 9 complications in addition to the time.

I’m not going to say this design is beautiful (and yes, that’s Helvetica, not San Francisco), but it is functional as hell. The information density is pretty high, but this is a power user’s watch face and what it lacks in beauty it makes up in data density. I got the idea for this mockup after getting frustrated that there isn’t a watch face I can use that has as many complication slots as I would like.

This watch face would also be a pretty great app launcher. Each spot is a glance-able data point, but they’re also all shortcuts to their respective apps. I would enjoy being able to jump into apps this way instead of using the honeycomb app screen or glances.

But Apple will never make this watch face themselves. I’m sure it breaks their HIGs for how large touch targets need to be or something. But I would like the opportunity to go crazy with something like this. And if I was able to come up with this in 10 minutes in Photoshop, imagine what creative designers could do! Android Wear already lets developers make custom watch faces, and yes most of them are terrible, but some are really clever and solve very specific problems that some people find convenient.

I would expect Apple to show off the features of watchOS 3 at WWDC 2016 in June, and nothing would make me happier than seeing custom watch faces as the headline new feature.