Apple on Tuesday updated the official App Store Review Guidelines, officially taking a stance against third-party applications for the Apple Watch whose sole purpose is to tell the time, as first discovered by developer David Smith.
A newly added clause of the agreement guiding third-party development now explicitly states that Watch applications which simply tell the time will be flatly rejected.
“Watch Apps whose primary function is telling time will be rejected,” reads the document. Moreover, the same principles appear to apply to custom watch faces and flatulence apps.
It’s worth mentioning that these rules have been enforced since the onset as there has never been a single time-telling Apple Watch app, or a fart app, (or a custom face for that matter) available on the App Store.
In addition to time-telling apps, Apple also doesn’t want third-party developers to create custom faces for the Watch. The device ships with a selection of ten highly customizable faces, but that’s about it, at least for the time being.
For the time being, because the official Apple Watch User Guide implies that additional Apple-made faces might be coming soon by way of a future Watch OS software update:
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.
Some of the forthcoming faces could include Photo and Timelapse, both of which Apple advertised but removed by the time the device officially launched.
So, where does that leave third-party developers?
We know native Watch apps are due later this year because Apple itself has acknowledged as much. Having said that — and I’m only speculating here — the firm may allow custom watch faces through an updated software-development kit that should support the creation of native apps which execute directly on the device.
At the end of the day, it will come down to company policy, not technology.
Even if we never see custom Watch faces, I’m sure the jailbreak crowd will eventually take care of that. Other people, like journalist Jason Snell, are holding their breath for third-party faces or, at the very least, third-party complications for existing faces.
“I’d be fine if Apple took a strong hand with faces and only approved a very small number that passed a very high bar,” he wrote, adding:
I’d be okay if Apple kept tight control of the faces… if developers could provide data from their apps as complications on existing faces. I’d love to plug in my Weather Underground temperature, for instance—today Apple’s standard temperature widget was a full ten degrees off of the actual temperature in my town.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Apple also appears to have taken a tough stance against fart apps on the Apple Watch. Sure enough, the App Store Review Guidelines have long pointed out that apps may be rejected over duplicate functionality, “particularly if there are many of them, such as fart, burp, flashlight, and Kama Sutra Apps.”
The same restrictions now apply to fart apps on the Watch.
As one developer confessed to Cult of Mac, his Watch app got rejected for letting people remotely control a fart sound broadcast from the iPhone.
“We noticed that your Apple Watch app is primarily a fart app,” Apple explained in an email to this developer. “We do not accept fart apps on Apple Watch.”
No surprises here.
Who’s feeling sad about the lack of fart apps on their Watch?
And what’s up with so many people spewing hate on Twitter against the Mickey Mouse face? Keep your inner Peter Pan alive, people!