Apple’s App Store Review Guidelines now stipulate that any Watch app whose primary function will be to ‘tell time’ will be rejected. In other words, watch face apps for the new Apple Watch will not be approved by the Cupertino giant.
The new guideline is listed under the user interface section of the App Store Review Guidelines, and plainly says, “Watch Apps whose primary function is telling time will be rejected.”
(Also see: Apple Watch Has Over 3,000 Apps at Launch; Developers Predict Rush of New Apps)
9to5macpoints out that the new guideline was added recently to inform the Watch app developers whose apps were being rejected. The report notes, “This rule that Watch apps that only tell time will be rejected has actually been enforced since Apple started accepting WatchKit submissions as many developers complained to find their apps had been rejected for this reason. The documentation change now formalizes this rule into an official policy.”
The move is clearly an attempt to bar third-party app developers to create watch faces for the Apple Watch. The smartwatch comes preloaded with 10 watch faces that can be customised according to user’s choice.
(Also see: Apple Watch Component Details Being Closely Guarded, Says iFixit)
While many were hoping third-party watch faces will be allowed once the Cupertino giant introduces the promised native SDK later this year, it might not be the case. Further speculation extends to Apple only allowing developers to only make complications, rather than entire watch faces.
Apple, on the other hand, also secondarily hints that it might release more first-party watch faces with an upcoming software update to the Apple Watch firmware in near future. The Apple Watch User Guide mentions, “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.”
(Also see: Apple Reportedly Aims to Ship More Than 20 Million Smartwatches in 2015)
Last week, the Apple Watch was launched globally in a low-key affair, missing signs of the usual Apple product fanfare.
Recently, Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed that the Apple Watch will soon launch in the second wave of countries in June this year after being successfully launched nine countries last week. Cook however did not mention the second wave countries the Apple Watch will be launched in.