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Apple WatchOS 7 adds Face Sharing, letting developers make their own... sort of

Apple doesn't have a Watch Face store, but Face Sharing looks like a middle step.


WatchOS 7 is getting Apple Watch Face Sharing. It's not the same as a watch face store, but it's a step.

This story is part of WWDC 2021. All the latest coverage from Apple's annual developers conference.

At this year's remote WWDC conference, Apple announced new software for the Apple Watch. One key eye-opening announcement was what looked like a flood of new watch faces enabled though a new feature called Face Sharing.

The Apple Watch has lacked a watch face store, despite smartwatch competitors offering third-party watch faces. Face Sharing isn't a way to create from-scratch faces, but instead looks like an instantaneous way to share or access other people's customized watch faces and complications. In a way, that's kind of like a new watch face, and Apple does have a ton of watch face customizations. 

Apple promised that developers could create their own customized watch faces with a multiple complications and share a link that people could click on, adding that watch face instantly. Is it the same as a completely from-scratch watch face designed by a user? No. But it could at least offer some quick ways to grab a watch face for a sports event, or a concert, or some other experience where perhaps everyone would want a common set of features.

Will this feature be a stopgap until a true watch face store arrives, or will this be Apple's answer for good? Hard to tell yet. 

This is a developing story.