How to Customize Your Apple Watch With Watch Faces


Since its arrival in 2015, the Apple Watch continues to become a more important part of the iPhone ecosystem with improvements to both the hardware and software sides of the equation.

With the addition of LTE cellular technology in the Series 3, the Apple Watch can now truly act as a standalone device away from an iPhone. That makes it even easier to control smart home devices and more from your wrist.

And while the wearable device has grown more powerful, there is probably one big part of it you’re overlooking—the main Apple Watch face. Apple has included a number of different options for users to select from and customize.

We’re here to help you better understand the face options and what you can accomplish from the “home” screen of the device. Let’s take a look at all the available face options, adding them to your Apple Watch, how to customize each with complications or other touches, and more.

Adding and Customizing an Apple Watch Face

There are two ways to add and customize any face to your Apple Watch.

The most obvious way is on the wearable device itself. Just Force Touch, which is a long hold, on your current face. Swipe all the way to left and you’ll see New. Press the Plus button, and you can then scroll through the different options with the Digital Crown or on the screen.

But especially if you’re new to the small screen of the Apple Watch, the best way to add and customize faces is through the companion Watch app on your iPhone.

Open up the app and then select the Face Gallery tab at the bottom of the screen. All the faces are available on the larger iPhone screen. When you find an option you’d like to add to the Watch, just tap the face.

On that screen, it’s easy to view all of the different color and complication options to customize the face.

If you haven’t heard much about complications, they are by far the best way to interact with the watch. But ironically, the feature is something many Apple Watch wearers don’t take advantage of.

There are a number of different options from both Apple and third-party developers. Most provide small bits of information, like a sports score or the current weather conditions, to easily view on the watch face.

Just press the complication to automatically start the app. Combined with the substantial number of face options, you can really personalize your Watch however you’d like with the most important information front and center.

Different Types of Apple Watch Faces

Here’s a complete rundown of all the available Apple Watch faces you can find on any device running watchOS 4.

Activity Analog and Digital

Activity Apple Watch Faces

Tracking your daily fitness and exercise is one of the best features of the Apple Watch. And your Activity rings take center stage on both of these faces. On the digital version, you can see both a visual and numerical representation of the daily stand, exercise, and move goals.

Astronomy, Chronograph, and Color

Astronomy Color Chrono Apple Watch Faces

You can reach for the stars with the Astronomy face. There are three different options to select from—the Earth, Moon, or Solar System. The Earth face will show the transition from day to night while the Moon will go through its different phases. The final option will show the relative position of the planets each day of the year.

Taking cues from the analog version, the Chronograph face features two different sets of hands. One set measures the total time while the other can track lap times using the start/stop button. Two smaller timers are customizable. As a nice touch, the face also syncs with the Stopwatch app on the Watch.

Color is a simple analog face where you can select the overall hue and even add a monogram.

Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and Toy Story

Minnie Mouse Mickey Mouse Toy Story Apple Watch Faces

Disney fans will definitely love these fun options. Both the Mickey and Minnie face takes cues from the first Mickey Mouse watch available in 1933. Either iconic character uses their arms to tell the hour and minutes. Their feet will tap out each second. Easily the best feature is that when you tap the face, Mickey or Minnie will speak the time.

The Toy Story face is a digital option and showcases Buzz, Woody, or Jessie from the popular films. You can also select the Toy Box option that features all three on the face.

Modular, Motion, and Numerals

Modular, Motion, and Numerals Apple Watch Faces

Complication fans will love the Modular face, as there’s room for five different slots to provide information at a glance.

One of the most beautiful faces available, Motion offers three different options—butterflies, flowers, or jellyfish. When you raise your wrist or tap the display to check the time, a different object from each collection will animate on the screen.

Minimalist will enjoy the Numerals face. It offers a single bold hour marker that changes throughout the day.

Photos, Kaleidoscope, and Pride

Photos Kaleidoscope Pride Apple Watch Faces

The most customizable face, Photos allows watch wearers to select up to 10 photos that can appear on the screen when checking the time. You can select the images from a synced album or recent Memories.

As you could probably guess by the name, Kaleidoscope takes its cues from the toy. Along with the ability to select your own custom photo, there are eight other images to select from. The face uses a special algorithm to highlight different elements that change throughout the day.

In the Pride face, the threads of a rainbow flag will move when you tap the display.

Simple, Siri, and Solar

Siri Simple Solar Apple Watch Faces

Don’t let the name fool you; the Simple face has a number of different customization options. This includes everything from simple hands on a black background to a complication-packed version.

Along with one-touch access to Apple’s virtual assistant, the Siri face will take a look at your day and provide helpful information, such as upcoming appointments or a reminder.

The Solar face will show you the position of the sun relative to the horizon at your exact location. Turn the Digital Crown to shows the sun’s position throughout the day.

Timelapse, Utility, and X-Large

Timelapse Utility X-Large Apple Watch Faces

Another jaw-dropping face, Timelapse features a number of beautiful locations around the world like London, Paris, and Shanghai. After selecting a location, the face will dynamically change throughout the day based on your location.

Utility is another nice analog option, with a number of different complication slots and dial options.

You won’t have to worry about wearing glasses with the X-Large face. The time display takes up the entire screen with bold text.

Other Exclusive Apple Watch Faces

Anyone with an Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE can select the Explorer face option. This will automatically show the cellular signal strength when away from an iPhone or Wi-Fi network.

Two special edition models, the Apple Watch Nike+ and Apple Watch Herm├Ęs, also offer some exclusive face options.

Make the Apple Watch Your Own

As you can see, there’s a wide variety of different Apple Watch faces you can select from and customize to make your experience even better.

If you’d like to tap the full potential of your wearable, take a look at great tricks you probably didn’t know for the Apple Watch.

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