Apple still has not opened up the possibility for developers to create and distribute additional dials for their smart watches. On the one hand, the company can be understood: it does not want the clumsy handicrafts of "mother" designers drawn on the knee on the Apple Watch screens - they will sharply lower their level in the eyes of most users. On the other hand, the company can create a whole set of instructions, only with full observance of which a third-party dial can get into the App Store. Apple is probably not going to do this, so as not to lose the ability to make unique dials.
To argue with this position of the company does not make much sense. Instead, it’s better to try to find a way out of this situation. This is what we decided to do as part of this material. It turned out that there are several ways to add a third-party dial to the Apple Watch screen. Further about them in order.
Dials in the form of imagesThe easiest way to customize the display of time on the Apple Watch is to use the standard “Photos” dial, with which you can put any image on their screen. As planned by programmers, you can use pictures from your gallery with it, but this is not necessary. Instead, you can try absolutely any picture, the choice of which is limited only by the flight of imagination. It is important to consider only the location of the plate with the display of time and cells for additional information. You can take a screenshot of the Apple Watch with them, and then add what you need.
That's how I managed to customize the screen of my Apple Watch
To do something the same, open the Watch app on the iPhone, go to the “Dials” section and select the “Photos” option. Define the necessary parameters for the “Time Position” and “Extensions” menus. Then click on the “Photo” item in the “Content” menu and select the desired image.
A few pictures that can be used for dials
If you add several images to the “Photo” dial, it will display a random picture. You can also switch between them with simple tapes on the Apple Watch screen. Thus, you will be able to diversify the appearance of your smart watch.
By the way, if you use the Apple Watch Series 5, you can use the always-on screen mode with the “Photo” dial. In this case, the plate of time and additional information will decrease in size and become dimmer. The rest of the space is simply obscured by the watch.
Techniques for working with a KaleidoscopeAnother built-in feature of the Apple Watch, with the help of which it will be possible to diversify the process of displaying time on the watch’s screen, is “Kaleidoscope”. Just select any interesting image, and the watch will automatically create an extraordinary dial based on it.
The most interesting result is obtained on the basis of pictures with a sharp change of colors
To do something like this, open the Watch application on the iPhone, go to the “Dials” section, select the “Kaleidoscope” option, decide on a picture in the “Image” menu, and then display it in the “Style” menu. With some of them, you can also use the add-ons in “Extensions”.
A few pictures that make up an interesting Kaleidoscope
Please note that the “Full Screen” and “Facets” options in the “Style” menu transform the image in such a way as to split the screen into twelve sectors symbolizing the clock. It turns out that with the help of the Kaleidoscope it will be possible to create not only an externally interesting, but also a functional dial.
“Circular” dials, which can be created using the “Kaleidoscope”, deserve special attention. Determine the current time on them at 100% if it works, then only with a big stretch. However, on the screen of the Apple Watch something similar looks minimalistic and stylish.
Set animated picturesThe boom of animated images for the Apple Watch dials happened along with the first news about the game Cyberpunk 2077, whose face became Keanu Reeves. It is difficult to say who was the first to do this, but GIF files from the trailer on which he takes off glasses immediately appeared on the screens of smart watches.
This is how the final “point” of the corresponding animation looks like
However, the Apple Watch does not know how to twist dials that use GIF animations. Instead, they need photos that are taken in Live format. You will need a converter: the easiest way is to use intoLive, whose basic set of functions is available for free - it is in the App Store
Install the application and open it. Go to the GIF section and define the necessary animation. Trim it to length and select the last frame to be the main one in the “Photo Main” menu. Click on the “Make” button, refuse repetitions, and then save the finished Live-image.
All that remains is to open the “Photos” application, find and select the cherished picture, go to the menu of additional actions and determine the option “Create a dial”. After that, you need to select what is the picture for the “Dial Photo”, configure all the necessary extensions and click on “Add”.
A selection of animated GIFs to experiment with
The only thing is not to create too long a photo in Live format - in this case the watch will not show it in its entirety. There is no point in doing more than a second. With the intoLive app, you can also crop the animation and speed it up, and you better take advantage of it.
This method of customizing time viewing on the Apple Watch is not compatible with the always-on screen on the Series 5. If this feature is active, the watch simply will not play the corresponding animation. It will have to be turned off in the Watch application - the “Screen and Brightness” menu, the “Always On” item.
Chinese watch storeA radical solution to the issue of the inability to add third-party dials on the Apple Watch was officially invented in China. They created their own store with them, which can only be installed bypassing the App Store. You will even have to pay for the most beautiful ones.
The basic dials offered by the Chinese store
The store is called JingWatch, and you can install it using the link
. When using it, the iPhone will offer to add a new profile, agree. Installation of the application will begin, and after its completion, go to "Settings"> "General"> "Profiles and Controls. device ”and allow its use.
Note! You install applications bypassing the App Store at your own risk. We have no idea what kind of malicious code could be hidden in them, so we will not take responsibility for the performance of your smartphone after all the manipulations.
After installing the application on the iPhone, you need to drop it on the Apple Watch. To do this, open Watch, find the JingWatch program and click on the “Install” button next to it. Next, go to the menu "General"> "Screen Activation" and select "Always" in the menu "When the screen is activated, show the last application." In the end, you need to go into the JingWatch application on the Apple Watch, click on the clock screen with effort, go to the Setap section and put the Always show switch in the active position. In this case, the program will try to keep itself in an active position, no matter what.
The JingWatch watch store offers tons of options
For the full use of the store in it will have to register. To do this, you need to come up with a special ID, add the current email address to it, and also indicate and confirm the desired password. Some dials can be purchased from the internal account.
If you use the Apple Watch Series 5, then the ability to constantly turn on the screen along with the Chinese application store will be almost useless. The screen with them will be darkened and display a standard plate with hours and minutes on top of the image.
How to get Nike + or Hermes dialsYou can officially get Nike + or Hermes dials only when you buy watches from the corresponding series. The first aluminum with sports straps, the second made of steel with stylish leather bracelets, the production of which a well-known brand had a hand in.
Hermes and Nike dials at JingWatch
You can try to find something similar to the official Nike + or Hermes dials in the Chinese dial store, which we talked about above. However, the application store from the Middle Kingdom will not be able to reveal them 100% in functional terms.
To summarize: is it worth it to bother so muchOn the one hand, I regularly have a desire to customize my Apple Watch in order to stand out from the crowd. On the other hand, besides “Photo” and “Kaleidoscope” there are no normal options for this today. Everything else is nothing more than crutches. But let's look at the dials that a Chinese store offers. Yes, many of them look good and are drawn quite high quality. However, they absolutely do not fit the appearance of Apple smart watches. It was they who once again made me understand that Apple has not in vain limited the creation of something like that.
If you like the Apple Watch, but you use a relatively old model like Series 2 or Series 3, I recommend saving money for the new Series 4 or Series 5. Together with them, you will get a set of sensible additional dials that Apple designers have worked on. The rest is crutches.