Apple’s WatchOS platform doesn’t have as many customization options as other smartwatches, such as those built on Google’s Wear OS. But there are many ways to make your Apple Watch your own, which goes beyond choosing your watch color, size, and strap. Here are the top features to know and use them.
The Watch app on your iPhone gives you some customization options to get you started. See app view and you can choose between grid and list for your apps (when you press the digital crown); With Grid, you can also arrange to have all your apps organized exactly how you want them.
Then there is the dock, which you drag and hold on the side button on your Apple Watch. It shows up to 10 of your most recent apps or your favorite apps. To tell your watch which app to show, tap into the Watch app for iOS, then choose Recent or Favorite (if you choose the latter, you can select both of the apps you want to see Are and the order in which they appear).
Apple has not yet opened the doors to any third-party watch face developer community, but the number of picks for Apple-approved faces (for Apple Watch Series 4 and later, at least) is increasing. To switch from your actual watch to the new watch face, swipe left or right on the current face to see your options.
If you only set up your Apple Watch, you don’t really have many options. You can tap on the new one, and Apple will present a selection of faces for your observation — to swipe up or down on the screen to scroll through them. When you find something you like, tap on a watch face to set it up (it will also be added to the Quick Pick list that appears when you swipe to your current watch face).
You may find it easier to set up a watch face from your phone. If you open the Watch app, you can tap on the Face Gallery to see all the options available. Here you will not only see the choice of faces, but there will be many variations of those faces as well. When you select one, you’ll be able to choose the colors it uses (if available), and the intricacies you’ll see (again, if the watch face supports them).
Tap Add to a watch face and add it in the My Faces box on the My Watch tab to change the faces that appear in this list. This is the list you will see if you swipe on your watch face to see more options, the simple idea that the faces you use here are easy to use.
Tapping any of these shortlisted faces in the app on your phone takes you to the customization screen, where you can also select the set as the current watch face or remove watch face.
Once you find some clock faces in the My Faces gallery, you can swipe across your watch screen to flick between them. If you are particularly keen to see, you have to press and hold, as you are particularly curious, as you find the shared button in the lower left corner.
Some watch faces have complexities, which are small shortcuts that lead to apps or features or panels that show information in real time. Then, you can change these complications from your watch or from your phone. To do this on the wearable, tap and hold the watch face, then choose Edit. You will first see the color option, and then can swipe left to see the options of complications.
Tap on any of the available complications to replace anything else, then scroll using the digital crown to make your selection. Your choice will depend on what kind of complexity it is and what apps you have installed – take your pick and then press the digital crown twice to get the watch face display back.
With watch faces, this is something that is easy to set up with the Watch app on your iPhone. You can tap on any face on the My Face or Face Gallery tab to get to the complications, which are straight for scrolling later. Some watch faces will have more complications than others, and while you won’t be able to rearrange them on screen, you can make certain if you want.
If you feel like you need more complications to play around with, look for iPhone apps that also include decent Apple Watch apps and include complications. You can for example note musical complications with Spotify, weather complications with carrot season, complications with bears and travel complications with CityMap. Some display information of complications, while others allow interaction.
By using similar tools used by developers, it is possible to create their own complexities to an extent. By far the best option we’ve found is WatchSmith, which lets you create complications covering weather, time and date, astronomy and more, and also has options to change complexities based on time.