watchOS 6 Will Be a Big Update

WWDC Poster
WWDC 2019 Poster

Mark Gurman from Bloomberg this week is reporting details about watchOS 6 coming this June at the WWDC conference. According to his sources, watchOS 6 will be a big update. Besides a few new health related applications, something big is coming: direct access to the App Store. In other words, users will be able to browse, buy and install new applications directly from their wrist. The iPhone is no longer needed for this task. This would represent another milestone for Apple looking to remove dependancies to the iPhone. Exactly the same endeavor that Apple took with the iPhone and iTunes a few years back.

User installable watch faces coming?

The coming of the App Store on the Apple Watch is a big deal. Why? Because this is the first step, in my opinion, that Apple needs to do in order to eventually bring custom watch faces as deliverable products. These could be browsed and bought from the very same App Store, but from a sub-section. This would be similar to iMessage apps that we can currently buy from our iPhone.

Custom watch faces could open up a lot of possibilies in my opinion for customization of the Apple Watch. Such a personal device, as Apple likes to put it, is a natural fit for custom, developer and designer made watch faces. I see a lot of opportunities here especially for designers.

I’m not saying that we’ll see this in watchOS 6. Apple likes to take its time to deliver new features. Also, Apple has probably not finalized the API that these custom watch faces would be allowed to use and consume. This kind of thing takes time.

Following report of Mark Gurman, Rene Ritchie came out with his own video about watchOS 6 too. He barely mention the custom watch face as an upcoming feature. But I think he is down playing them plain and simple. Custom watch faces goes way beyong personalized watch bands in my opinion.

watchOS 6 is part of a bunch of updates coming this summer. The other big portion being iOS 13.

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