Apple has updated its App Store review guidelines to include a rule that specifically targets Apple Watch apps. The change was noticed by 9to5Mac, and developers say it was enforced during the WatchKit submission process but only went “official” today.
Under chapter 10, “User Interface,” developers will find a new entry, 10.7, which says “Watch apps whose primary function is telling time will be rejected.” This rule corroborates Gruber’s forecast: Apple doesn’t want to give up the watch face to developers. Considering the effort, the countless hours put into the 10 watch faces currently available for the Apple Watch, and the new rule, you can forget about custom watch faces anytime soon.
But this should not come as a surprise, because even after eight years of iOS, Apple doesn’t support third-party lock or home screens — Gruber reminds us.
Anyway, you may recall the emphasis on the incredibly accurate time-telling function of the Apple timepiece, so it’s obvious that the company is aiming to maintain strict control simply because it wants to live up to its own standards.
There is a slight chance that we’ll see more watch faces with future software updates, as suggested by the Help Guide and noted by 9to5Mac. “Apple Watch includes a variety of watch faces, any of which you can customize to suit you. Check frequently for software updates; the set of watch faces that follows might differ from what you see on your Apple Watch.”