Modernizing Faces in watchOS 6

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by Internet Enzyme, May 7, 2019.

  1. Internet Enzyme macrumors 6502a

    Internet Enzyme

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2016
    #1
    Jason Snell had this to say when the Series 4 was released:

    “The result is that I like lots of aspects of the watch faces on the Series 4, but after more than a week of fiddling with complications and faces, I’ve yet to settle on one that I am comfortable with. [. . .] The circle of the Utility and Infograph watch faces are exactly the same size. There’s no reason that Utility shouldn’t use modern complications. I understand that Apple may have had bigger fish to fry in watchOS 5, but it feels like it’s time for a upgrade and rethink of all the Apple Watch faces.”

    There's a really weird design schism in watchOS. I don't think I should really have to dress it down—anyone who owns a Series 4 with watchOS 5 knows this. A lot of the nice and new complications are absent from ‘legacy’ faces, which is a shame given that some of these faces are far nicer than the new ones. Take the Solar face as an example. There is no reason why the current Solar face, on right, can't support a Complication setup like the one I've mocked up here, on left:

    Solar Face Redesign.jpg Solar Face.jpg

    This complication class on left already exists for the Breathe face. Why can't the gorgeous Solar face also be functional? This should be a top priority for the Watch team, in my eyes. If they won't allow third party faces, they better be fixing up their own. Sadly, none of the leaks seem to be hinting at this. But who knows—perhaps they know already and are working on cleaning up the gallery. There's a lot of redundancy and mismatch going on, and it really isn't too monumental a task.
     
  2. MisterSavage macrumors 6502a

    MisterSavage

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    Nov 10, 2018
    #2
    Infograph modular is the one that drives me nuts. I hate all the "busy" data you can put in the middle. Why can't I just put a large digital time there instead of having it in the top right?
     
  3. Internet Enzyme thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Internet Enzyme

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    Feb 21, 2016
    #3
    I really wish that Digital Time was a complication across all faces. A lot of the nicest faces are analog, and I feel like I’m not the only one who finds digital far faster and more accurate than analog
     
  4. MisterSavage macrumors 6502a

    MisterSavage

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    #4
    Couldn't agree more with you!
     
  5. Internet Enzyme, May 8, 2019
    Last edited: May 8, 2019

    Internet Enzyme thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Internet Enzyme

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    Feb 21, 2016
    #5
    I feel like, six versions in, these blind spots should begin to be tended to, and the original legacy layouts and languages should be updated, similar to the iOS 7 redesign effort, except not nearly as extensive. Providing digital and analog time as complication options for all faces seems like an area that Apple Watch could ‘innovate’ with the idea of displaying the time
     
  6. satchmo macrumors 68020

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    Aug 6, 2008
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    Canada
    #6
    Six version in, you'd think they'd have built-in sleep tracking too. If Apple doesn't have the resources or desire to create a more robust and set of watch faces, they should let 3rd party developers to do so.
    I've never been a fan of the round complications face. I get what they're trying to provide you with as much information, but I find it visually offensive. There's something to be said for subtly and using simply typography.
     
  7. Internet Enzyme, May 8, 2019
    Last edited: May 8, 2019

    Internet Enzyme thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Internet Enzyme

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2016
    #7
    These are my faces that I have in rotation:

    0D95C6EC-518E-443F-AA46-310B79D96468.png B4C10CB9-AAB7-4B37-9820-1139B0618749.png 4508E127-B63F-4ABB-B968-839F91481C15.png

    The only one i truly like is Solar but sometimes its just to sparse and stripped down and i miss out on utility. The full color activity rings and the gradient rings for CARROT⁵ weather can be very unharmonious and ugly. The large fantastical complication is alright.

    Also, i can kind if get why sleep tracking isnt a thing yet. I feel like a large purpose of the watch is to keep it on all day and have it faithfully log your activity. If you have the watch on at night, how are you supposed to use it in the day? I suppose not everyone wants the same functionality out of a watch and that facilitating that kind of use case is in the best interest of the os as a whole but I just cant see why one would purchase an apple watch for sleep tracking, because sleep tracking necessitates a complete sea change in charging rhythm—if you use the watch as a sleep tracker you dont have much room for it to do anything else
     
  8. Smartwatchlover macrumors member

    Smartwatchlover

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    Sep 23, 2017
    Location:
    Abu Dhabi, UAE
    #8
    I really hope to see more options and flexibility on watch faces in the near future: I’m super happy with my AW4 44mm but I believe that the faces are just too limited.

    After having used the new infograph for a few months I ended up coming back to the old modular that so far is the most practical one for me.

    I want more flexibility and more choices, including options to use 3rd party faces.
     
  9. Internet Enzyme thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Internet Enzyme

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    Feb 21, 2016
    #9
    I’m not sure if third party faces will be a thing in this version (probably not), but I have a feeling it will happen eventually. The rumor is that they’re bringing an App Store app to the Watch. I think it would make sense to have a section in that store called Faces. I mean the Watch store is pretty much dead. Twitter and Instagram jumped ship forever ago, and it seems like developing for Watch is a huge pain in the ass. Adding Face support would revitalize the store and provide a huge marketplace for designers to make a decent side gig. It would be a huge boon to everyone involved, and I dont see how performance or privacy could be issues if you implement the framework properly. But perhaps one of the reasons we haven’t seen it yet and probably won’t for a while is because properly implementing such an api is actually far more complex than it seems.
     
  10. parseckadet macrumors 65816

    parseckadet

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    Dec 13, 2010
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    Denver, CO
    #10
    I agree with every point mentioned in this thread so far. Further, I would like to see more customization in the faces that we already have. Why can't we add numerals to the color and simple faces? Why can't we change the style of the hands and tick marks? And why, WHY, are we stuck with sub-minute markings on the Infograph face? I can't think of ANY other watch that has sub-minute markings, and they make reading the time on that face SO much more difficult.
     
  11. Akrapovic macrumors 6502

    Akrapovic

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    Aug 29, 2018
    Location:
    Scotland
    #11
    If Apple don’t want to do this party Watch faces then they should make more of an effort on their own.

    Hire a small team of designers. Release packs of faces on the AppStore for a couple of dollars per pack. I think a lot of us would buy packs of Apple designed faces. 10 faces in a pack. 1 pack per month. Done.
     
  12. Internet Enzyme thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Internet Enzyme

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    #12
    I feel like the optics of that is awful.
     
  13. Akrapovic macrumors 6502

    Akrapovic

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    #13
    Possibly. However, Samsung has had a difficult time policing people ripping off real watch faces. So Apple selling packs of them is the way around that, whilst still providing more options for the watch. Also keeps the quality high.

    Is it as good as third party? No, of course not. But it does deal with a lot of the problems discussed regarding third party faces.
     
  14. Internet Enzyme thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Internet Enzyme

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    #14
    I mean, they release “packs” of watch faces every OS update. I think creating a highly secure, performant, policed framework for third parties to interface with and then keeping all internally designed faces private and part of the OS is the correct way to go.
     
  15. parseckadet macrumors 65816

    parseckadet

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    Denver, CO
    #15
    Honestly, I don’t really trust third parties to create watch faces that are worthwhile. I think the store would quickly fill up with garbage that nobody really wants and never gets updated. Basically, copy and paste the current situation with watch apps. So I’m fine with Apple not letting third parties in, but I do agree that they need to be doing more first party faces more frequently. I don’t think we should be satisfied with one or two new faces once a year. I think Apple should be working toward a “Watch Face Kit”, that COULD be released publicly even if it never is in the end. Such a thing would allow Apple to release new faces much more quickly. Imagine if every time we got new band colors we also got three or four new faces as well. The potential is there in the hardware, Apple just needs to nail down the software frameworks to make things easier on themselves.
     
  16. xraydoc macrumors demi-god

    xraydoc

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    Oct 9, 2005
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    192.168.1.1
    #16
    Definitely need watch face attention. And more “fire & ice” faces is not the answer. I like to see info on my watch faces, and I’ve essentially had the same damn one since the first generation Apple Watch on OS 1.
    The series 4 Infograph is great, but it’s too bad it’s not available on the series 3 (even if it were smaller). Couldn’t justify the upgrade cost for one watch face...
     
  17. Internet Enzyme thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Internet Enzyme

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    Feb 21, 2016
    #17
    And the thing about those full screen faces is that they could fit complications over top the full screen animation. Theres no reason they have to be so pared down and useless. Infograph is alright. The corner complications are very weird but as the story is with most faces you can make it look good if youre thoughtful enough
    --- Post Merged, May 11, 2019 ---
    I think they could release new watch faces for decimal updates
     
  18. parseckadet macrumors 65816

    parseckadet

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    #18
    They could and they have, with the prime example being the Pride face. But that's really just a variation of the Photos face, which itself is just an enhancement of the Timelapse/Motion faces.
     
  19. Internet Enzyme thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Internet Enzyme

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    Feb 21, 2016
    #19
    Also, this isnt a gorgeous concept, but why isn't this kind of thing an option for the full screen faces?
    Vapor Fullscreen Complications.jpg
     
  20. Jack Neill macrumors 6502

    Jack Neill

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    Sep 13, 2015
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    San Antonio Texas
    #20
    I just want more analog faces with marks or numbers, analog faces without notches are worthless to me. I’m not smart enough to read it.
     
  21. Civil Engineer macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2013
    #21
    I may be old school, but I like the info graph face. I have used it since AW2. It gives me all the information I am normally looking for without going to my phone. The only change I would make is to make it a little less colorful and more subdued. But to each their own! I think that is what Apple is trying for without letting it get out of control.
     
  22. Internet Enzyme thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Internet Enzyme

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2016
    #22
    I think Infograph is cool. The corner complications can be nifty but they are a bit special-cased and bespoke—they dont apply to any other face, its a bit weird. Infograph is one of my most used ones, it has a neat design. I do wish that you could get rid of the gradients for the sliders and select your own solid colors.
    --- Post Merged, May 20, 2019 ---
    Thats something I wonder—some people prefer analog and say its quicker to read since its symbolic or something. yet most people cannot read an analog face without the ticks. isnt digital like objectively quicker and easier to read? the aesthetics of the hands are cool but there are cool design opportunites for digital as well
     
  23. Jack Neill macrumors 6502

    Jack Neill

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    Sep 13, 2015
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    San Antonio Texas
    #23
    I like analog faces and can read them fine when theres numbers or ticks, but when its blank with just hands, its hard to read the time accurately.
     
  24. Internet Enzyme thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Internet Enzyme

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    Feb 21, 2016
    #24
    Do you think that an analog face with ticks is as fast or faster then as a digital readout?
     
  25. parseckadet macrumors 65816

    parseckadet

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    Denver, CO
    #25
    In my mind it depends. I think it's just as fast if all you want is "It's about 10:50." If you want to know "It's 10:51:37," then no. 90% of the time I just care about the former.
     

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