At WWDC 2022, Apple showcased a collection of fresh new watch faces that will make their way to watchOS 9 to brighten up an Apple Watch. Each year, alongside feature additions that come with software updates, Apple adds new watch faces for use on just about all Apple Watches. Some watch faces might be restricted to certain models, as the Apple Watch’s screen size has varied over the years, and certain faces take advantage of the extra space.
Watch faces are a more superficial change that comes with new releases of watchOS, but Apple balanced out the to-be-released software upgrade with key fitness and health features. The Apple Fitness app, and its related subscription service, Apple Fitness+, received an overhaul to make guided workouts more interactive. Using the health data recorded by the Apple Watch, a guided workout can provided on-screen instructions to direct the wearer to put more or less effort into the exercise. Additionally, advanced metrics for runners and swimmers were added to watchOS 9 to make the Apple Watch a serious tool for athletes. Though these features have more depth than watch faces, the addition of new faces can be one of the most exciting parts of a new upgrade, since the wearer glances at them often throughout the day.
The next version of watchOS 9, which will be released in the fall, doesn’t just add new watch faces — it also adds more flexibility to existing ones. Older watch faces, such as Utility, Simple, and Activity Analog, are gaining new and modernized complications. There will also be more ways to customize the color of the Modular, Modular Compact, and X-Large watch faces. While users can already change the color scheme of the main watch text and complications, with watchOS 9, they’ll be able to change the background color of a watch face. The integration with the iPhone is better, too — a Focus mode set on the iPhone can automatically change the face of an Apple Watch, allowing users to have faces geared toward specific tasks or times of day.
New Apple Watch Faces Will Debut This Fall
The four new watch faces set to debut this fall with the release of watchOS 9 are Lunar, Playtime, Metropolitan, and Astronomy. The Lunar watch face depicts two types of calendars — Lunar and Gregorian — to show the relationship between them. The company notes that the calendars are used in many cultures, and specifically references Chinese, Islamic, and Hebrew cultures. Quite the opposite in style is Playtime, which put simply is a fun piece of art created with artist Joi Fulton. The Astronomy watch face is a new take on a classic watch face, and this edition shows a real-time star map and cloud data.
The Metropolitan watch face, pictured above, seems to be the sleekest watch face Apple has introduced in recent years, right up there with the California watch face. It has a classic, type-face driven style that is complimented by a breadth of functionality. A common dilemma when picking a watch face is whether to place form over function — or in this case, to place style over the number of complications. With the Metropolitan watch face, users receive a sleek look that also has four large complications at the corners of the Apple Watch, providing the best of both worlds. The four new watch faces are set to expand the options on the Apple Watch, and will be released alongside watchOS 9 in the fall.