Apple Watch developers have long been requesting for Apple to enable third-party faces, and it seems that will finally happen soon.
At present, Apple only allows its own watch faces to be used on its Watch lineup, though there are some from companies such as Disney and Pixar, but those don't really count as third parties because of Apple's deep ties with them. Even if an Apple Watch developer has a great watch face concept, there's simply no way to submit it to Apple.
Apple To Allow Third-Party Watch Faces On Apple Watch?
That's about to change, if rumors are correct. Code found within watchOS 4.3.1 implies that Apple will soon open the doors to watch face development. NanoTimeKit framework, which is responsible for watch faces, has a developer tools server that's probably designed to work with Xcode on a Mac. One of its methods contains an intriguing log message: "This is where the 3rd party face config bundle generation would happen."
That's simply just a placeholder reference, but it could imply that Apple has laid the groundwork for developers to be able to make their own watch faces at some point in the future. There's no telling when Apple will allow this capability, but it's definitely a step in the right direction especially for those who ache for some more variety on their Apple Watch.
Coming With watchOS 5?
The feature might be rolled out alongside watchOS 5, which probably won't come until much later. The most recent version of the operating system is watchOS 4.3, which brought a number of features and improvements, such as the ability to control the HomePod or music on an iPhone, an updated Siri watch face, and others. Version 5 will probably be a major update with lots of features, and the ability to choose watch faces from third parties will certainly be a nice bonus.
Don't forget, however, that this still comes from the rumor mill, no matter how convincing the evidence is. Even if the functionality exists in the code, Apple may still decide to drop it altogether. Hopefully Apple does end up including it because if anything else, it'll give users many options to choose from and prevent the watch face lineup from being stagnant, dull, and boring.