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Apple Watch 101: Customizing Watch Faces With the iPhone App

Create and customize that perfect face is easy from the big screen of your handset
That iThingy You're Wearing
October 19, 2016

One of the best features of the Apple Watch is the huge number of watch faces that can be customized with different styles, colors, and complications. Before watchOS 3 and iOS 10, all of the customization needed to be done directly on the watch, which was sometimes a difficult task consisting of a number of Force touch gestures and swipes.

But building a perfect face has gotten much easier with the companion Watch app on your iPhone. Along with the Face Gallery, there is a new My Faces section located in the My Watch tab. We’ll show you how both of those work.

Face Gallery

Face Gallery
Browse what's new and other faces in the Face Gallery tab.

Browse what's new and other faces in the Face Gallery tab.

If you’re a new Apple Watch owner, the best place to start is with the Face Gallery tab in the app. As the name suggest, you’ll be able to view all the faces available for the watch. The top row showcases all of the newest faces in watchOS 3 – Activity Digital, Numerals, Minnie Mouse, and Activity Analog.

Along with Featured Complications, the rest of the section shows off all of the other available faces. Once you find a face you like, select it to start customizing.

Building your own

Building your own
Setting complications is complicated with the app. You'll also see a preview of what the face will look like.

Setting complications is complicated with the app. You'll also see a preview of what the face will look like.

The Modular face is one of my favorites to use, so we’ll take a look at how to create a customized version on the iPhone app.

First up, you can pick the featured color for the face. Many are designed to compliment the same color Sport band. Since my watch is a space black stainless steel model, I’m selecting the multicolor option.

With five available complications on that specific face, you can then scroll down and select one for each slo. When you do so, a preview will appear on the watch face at the top of the page to give a better idea of what to expect.

When done, hit Add, and the face will then be sent to your watch. In my case, it appeared instantly.

It is also added to the My Faces section in the My Watch tab on the app. You can view every face and reorder them or delete one by selecting Edit.

As always you can also change faces directly on the watch. Starting with watchOS 3, a simple swipe gesture on the screen will flip to the next face. Force Touch a face to bring up the customization options.