Best Apple Watch Faces & How to Change Them
During the Sept. 7, 2022, Far Out event, Apple presented the new watchOS 9, the Apple Watch Series 8, the new Apple Watch SE and the Apple Watch Ultra. The latest products, OS and redesigns introduce new and more customizable watch faces like Lunar and Metropolitan.
It’s no secret that Apple Watch owners can see time in many different ways choosing from a wide range of faces. Even after selecting the face, each can be highly customized, changing styles and colors as well as adding features that the company from Cupertino calls “complications.”
Some watch faces are out to make a personal statement. Others are tuned in for health and maximizing sports performance, while others are strictly designed for work. Changing face watches once in your collection is as easy as a tap and a swipe.
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To help with your business tasks and related activities, an Apple Watch face that delivers helpful information at a glance can be an asset. If you just need the time and no other distractions, you can choose a simple face such as California, Simple, Typograph or Numerals. On the other hand, if you deal with people and projects worldwide, the GMT and World Time faces display the time in different zones.
The new watchOS 9 not only brought a redesigned Compass app and new health features. Apple Watch users now have more watch faces to choose from, with richer complications that provide more information and opportunity for personalization.
How to add faces using the iPhone app
You can add new faces to your Apple Watch through your iPhone or using your watch. To add faces using your phone, open the Watch app on your iPhone, then tap the icon at the bottom: Face Gallery. The face gallery will show you all the latest Apple Watch faces, as well as those Apple has unveiled in the past.
Swipe down and across the gallery and tap a face you like. Each face can be customized, and you can add extra information displays like data, weather, time zones, heart rate, mail and voice memos, among many others. You can even add complications from third-party apps. Once you are done, tap the Add button to add it to your Apple Watch. The face you added will appear in the My Faces list in the Watch app and on your Apple Watch (Figure A).
Add a new face using your Apple Watch
To add faces using your Apple Watch, swipe edge to edge across the watch face to see other faces in your collection. To see all available watch faces, touch and hold the watch face, swipe to the one you want, then tap to select it.
You can also customize a face directly from the watch. To do this, press down on the face until it shrinks in size and an Edit button appears. Tap the Edit button and turn the Digital Crown to choose a different color or style. Swipe the face to the left to see the Complications screen. Tap a specific complication and turn the Digital Crown to change it (Figure B).
To add complications to a face using your watch, first touch and hold the display, then tap Edit. Swipe left all the way to the end — the different available complications will show up on the last screen. Tap a complication to select it. To choose more complications, turn the Digital Crown and find a new one.
Once you are finished, press the Digital Crown to save your changes, then tap the face to switch to it. The entire process is very intuitive; once you have done it, adding complications comes easy. You can also add saved faces to your collection to access them easily.
New Apple Watch faces 2022
Apple presented four new faces and added new ways to customize many of the ones already offered. The update brings enhanced and modernized complications to some classic watch faces, such as Utility, Simple and Activity Analog, along with background color editing and personalizations for Modular, Modular Compact and X-Large.
The Metropolitan is one of the new faces that Apple introduced in the Far Out event. It’s a classic, type-driven watch face that features custom-designed numbers that dynamically change in style as you turn the Digital Crown. The numerals rotate to become pills when your wrist is down.
You can add to this face complications like Activity, Alarms, Astronomy (Moon Phase), Audiobooks, Calendar, Remote Camera, Compass (Compass, Elevation, Level), Compass Waypoints, Contacts, News, Phone, Reminders, Sleep, Stock, Workout and World Clock (Figure C).
This face depicts the relationship between the Gregorian calendar and lunar calendar, used in many cultures such as Chinese, Hebrew and Islamic. Customizable features for this face include Color, Calendar (Chinese, Hebrew, Islamic) and Time (Figure D).
Apple teamed up with the artist Joi Fulton to create this new face. The result is a dynamic colorful art face unique to the brand. You can rotate the Digital Crown to change the background, and characters react when you tap on the face (Figure E).
Apple remastered the face Astronomy to create a new original face. The face features a new star map and current cloud data. This watch face shows a continuously updated 3D model of the earth, moon or solar system. You can customize the view of the Earth, Moon and Solar System, set a random view and change the style (Figure F).
Simple Apple Watch faces
Several Apple Watch faces offer visuals, animations, and other bells and whistles, but sometimes simplicity is best. Here are a few to consider if you’re looking just for a watch face where you can easily see the time at a glance.
The California face offers a clean look with a traditional analog time display with numerals in Arabic, Roman or other styles. The Simple style serves up a clean, primary, analog display, and the Typograph type displays large numerals so you can easily see them.
For a straightforward Apple Watch face, the Numerals displays a single bold number for the current time with three hands to indicate hours, minutes and seconds.
To set this up, scroll down the Face Gallery in the Watch app on your iPhone until you see the face for Numerals. Choose the color and style you prefer. This face offers just one complication you can customize to see today’s date, the weather, reminders or other information. When ready, tap Add to add it to your current Apple Watch face (Figure G).
New updates for Classic, Portrait, and Nike faces
Apple updated to enhance and modernize the classic faces that are popular among its fanbase. Faces such as Utility, Simple, Activity Analog, Modular, Modular Compact and X-Large can now be further personalized, and the design, colors and style can be changed (Figure H).
Those who enjoy the California and Typograph watch faces can now add Chinese scripts, and those Apple Watch users that are runners, thanks to the watchOS 9 update, can access all the Nike watch faces — even those without a Nike model (Figure I).
To make the Portraits face more modern, Apple added depth effects that can be applied to more photos, including those of your pets like cats and dogs. The effect also works well with landscape photography.
Portraits watch face uses photos from the photo library on the user´s iPhone. Up to three styles and up to 24 images can be selected. A new photo appears each time you raise your wrist or tap the display (Figure J).
Time zone faces
Knowing the time in different countries and regions can certainly be helpful if you deal with colleagues, customers or other people around the world.
The GMT face displays your local time in the inner part of the dial and the time for a different zone in the outer part. To set the different time zone, tap the watch face and turn the Digital Crown until you find the zone you want to view. Tap the checkmark. Now the outer ring will show you the time in that region.
WatchOS 9 offers a face known as World Time, which can reveal the time in all 24 zones worldwide.
First, make sure you’re running the latest version of watchOS. Next, open the Face Gallery on your iPhone’s Watch app. The World Time appears at the top of the screen under New Watch Faces and toward the bottom of the screen as part of the alphabetical list. Choose the color and style you wish to apply to the face. You can also customize any of the four complications at the four corners.
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The inner dial shows the time in your current zone with an analog or digital display. The outer dial shows the time in each zone worldwide in military or 24-hour time (Figure K).
Busy watch faces
Maybe you need to see a lot of information, such as the weather, temperature, elevation, mail, reminders, or stock activity. Or perhaps you want to be able to easily use certain tools on the Apple Watch, such as the calculator, camera remote, compass, stopwatch, timer or voice recorder. In those cases, you need an Apple Watch face that can display multiple details.
The Count Up, GMT, and Modular faces let you add up to five different complications, and the California face can sport seven different complications, but the Infograph face has them all beat by allowing a whopping eight different complications to supplement the time and date.
From the Face Gallery in the phone app, swipe down to and tap the Infograph face. Choose your favorite color. Then tap each of the complications to select the information you want to see. Add the face. The different complications appear in the four corners of the face and a series of small dials in the center (Figure L).
Sometimes you just need to unwind from the daily grind. For that, you can turn to watch faces that encourage you to relax.
The Breathe face offers quick access to the Breathe app, which helps you breathe in and out for a short duration as a way to calm yourself. The face displays a gentle drawing of a face, which you can tap to transform into a different image. And the Fire and Water face displays a changing animated image of fire and water interacting to create a peaceful effect.
One particularly relaxing Apple Watch face is Kaleidoscope, which displays a series of slowly moving kaleidoscopic images that are soothing to watch.
From the Face Gallery in the Watch app, tap the Kaleidoscope face. Choose the image you wish to see. You can even add one of your own photos. Select a style and add complications if you wish. Add the face and watch the image change when you need a break (Figure M).
Finally, to find Apple Watch faces and Apple Watch face apps from third parties, open the App Store, either on your iPhone or directly on your Apple Watch. Search for the term “watch faces,” and you’ll find several paid and some free apps that offer their own faces for your Apple Watch.