Apple Watch Jailbreak Watch OS 3

It officially launched less than a week ago, but many people are already thinking about jailbreaking the Apple Watch. I’ve seen prominent hackers and developers talk about jailbreaking Apple’s new wearable device, and I’ve heard it mentioned several times on some prominent podcasts.

The question is, why are so many people interested in jailbreaking Apple’s new hardware? The answer is mixed, but there are lots of similarities to iPhone OS and the early iPhone hardware. When the iPhone first launched back in 2007, it was severely limited. You couldn’t copy and paste, you couldn’t have custom wallpaper, there was no App Store, etc. Jailbreaking eventually allowed early users to do all of those things.

Similar to the early iPhone software, Watch OS 1.0 won’t allow users to do things like use custom watch faces, or run native apps. Jailbreaking could, in theory, allow for both of these features. But that’s not all. Jailbreaking Watch OS opens up a whole new realm of possibilities.

Custom watch faces

This is an absolute no-brainer. It’s one of the things that makes other smartwatches, such as the Pebble, so appealing. As of now, Apple only lets you choose from and customize its stock watch faces. Will we ever see custom watch faces? I wouldn’t be so sure. I think we will see select Apple-approved watch faces become available eventually, but a jailbreak might be the only answer when it comes to true customization.

Native apps

There are many reasons why it may be better to run apps natively on the Apple Watch instead of beaming information between it and an iPhone. The most obvious thing is speed. If there’s one consistent narrative that we’ve gleaned from early Apple Watch reviews, it’s that speed is, at times, hard to come by.

Running apps natively would go a long way towards fixing the speed issue, not to mention the added possibilities that running native code opens up to users. Imagine this: running a podcast app natively while you go for a walk or a jog. You can’t do that without a paired iPhone near, because you can’t store audio files on the watch outside of a synced Music app playlist.

Changing the default timeout settings for the screen

Another complaint that we’ve heard in early reviews has to do with the Apple Watch timeout settings. To save battery life, the Apple Watch can be overzealous when it comes to timing out the screen. Having an Apple Watch jailbreak would allow you to customize the time out settings to a finer degree.

 Custom themes

Watch faces are nice, but what about full-fledged custom themes? I’m talking about WinterBoard-esque themes that allow you to change the look of the entire interface, icons and all.

Enhanced battery saving tweaks

Power Reserve mode is a little extreme. How about outright disabling certain battery draining features on a whim? Or changing screen timeout settings? With a jailbreak, we’d have finer control over the Apple Watch experience, and could fine tune the watch’s settings for the best battery life possible.

Executing Activator actions via your watch

If you’ve ever used Activator on your iPhone, then you know how handy this tool can be. It’s the backbone of thousands of jailbreak tweaks for good reason, and it lets you perform impressive iOS automation on its own. Imagine using certain button combinations for quick shortcuts to apps and toggles.

Deeper customization of Taptic Engine feedback

I’ve read several reviews and experiences that mention the Apple Watch’s haptic feedback abilities, and how they’re a bit lacking. The running theme is that it’s at times hard to feel when the Taptic Engine is trying to get your attention. With a jailbreak, the potential is there to up the intensity of the Taptic Engine, and increase the feedback rate. Jailbreaking also opens up the possibility of assigning custom haptic feedback patterns to specific notifications.

Custom complications

Complications are the little items that run alongside the watch face interface in order to provide you with quick details. Complications cover can range from sunset schedules, stocks, moon phases, and more. While Apple Watch comes bundled with quite a few complications, it would be nice if there was the ability to use custom complications. What about having a complication that tallies up missed tweets, or displays unread email numbers?

Browse the web

Noticeably absent from the Apple Watch’s Home screen is Safari. Safari is on the iPhone, it’s on the iPad, it’s on the iPod touch, but it’s nowhere to be found on Apple Watch. Of course, the reason for that is obvious: the screen is too small, it’s too battery demanding, and no one wants to hold their wrist up for long periods of time while to navigating web pages that probably won’t render well on such a small display. But the rebuttal to that argument is just as obvious: we want it just because we can.

Playing audio directly from the Apple Watch speaker

When I first started covering the Apple Watch, I was under the impression that you would be able to play music and audio directly from the Apple Watch speaker. While it’s true that you can listen to phone calls from the Apple Watch speaker, that’s pretty much the extent of things. You can’t listen to music or podcasts via the device’s built in speaker, and that’s a bummer for me.

Want more?

We go more in-depth on this topic in today’s episode of Let’s Talk Jailbreak. Be sure to tune in, as it includes a few bonus Apple Watch jailbreak ideas that aren’t on this list, such as hiding app icons. What features would you like to see on a jailbroken Apple Watch? Sound off down below and let us know!

  • singhay559

    I would love to see this happen

  • Croak

    On point Jeff, as always. I was thinking about how themes and a winterboard like platform would benefit the standard interface. For me, it’s one of the main reasons I jailbreak, themes.

  • Chris

    Browse the web

    I’m trying to work out how this would work, the vast majority of responsive websites stop at 320px so it might be a tad tricky to get this working.

    • Micaiah Martin

      As a front-end designer. I would not like this, but the thing is. People are pushing for us to design for this small of a screen…which sucks.

      • Chris

        Agreed, I’ve always hated the stupid amount of screen sizes Android bought to the table, I miss the early days where 320px was the basic mobile resolution. Hopefully 240px doesn’t show it’s face in the SoW anytime soon.

      • jaysoncopes

        I think that, if that became possible, it would happen. Even though it would be frustrating for website admins and developers, it wouldn’t be too bad for the bigger companies that would be used (IMDB, AA, ESPN, etc.) would probably find a way to simplify the site data for a watch screen. Other sites could just as easily set a default watch page similar to a 404 page, just a “Not Available on Watch” page.

  • mostly42

    I’d like it to be able to stream music (Spotify, Beats Music, iTunes Match, iRadio, etc.), audiobooks, podcasts, etc… using it without the phone. 1 playlist, at a 2gb max, from your playlist is so limiting (And t. And yes, definitely, this needs to work from the speaker in the watch in addition to the bluetooth.

  • Merman123

    I recommend everyone interested on this topic, to check out their latest Lets Talk Jailbreak episode. It’s awesome.

  • [RΞCØИ1]

    Definitely more customization on the watch faces. I used the Modular face and I hate that I don’t have the option to put the time in the middle. I feel like that’s normally where someone would look for the time. Not the top right. And like Sebastian said, hide stock apps. I don’t use the Stocks app. They should combine the 4 time apps into one like on the phone. And the photos app. Is anyone really going to show people photos on their watch?

    Playing audio via the watch is a must as well. Also Siri talking back to you. And for that I guess you’d need custom timeouts so that when you don’t have the watch face facing you (if you’re doing something else) the screen won’t dim out and you can still interact with Siri.

  • Jake Platt

    I think the watch is pretty good as it is, especially for a first gen. It’s too small to really customise much, although some of the above suggestions sound pretty neat. What isn’t good however is the stock iPhone os I’ve had to go back to in order to run the watch. I forgot how awful a non jailbroken phone is, and its honestly its reducing some of the enjoyment I am experiencing from the watch. I think if I had my time over I would have waited on a jailbreak for 8.3 before getting the watch up and going. Too late now.

    • kron1k 

      I’m thinking of holding off on my watch till a jb comes out. “Luckily” I have a delivery date of June so I’m hoping something happens by then. Mainly so I don’t have to look at it taunting me to update and sync it.

    • CloudSurfin

      I was really struggling with this decision. Sad to hear that a new device is detracting from the joy of a companion device. The watch still tells time stand alone correct? that’s exactly what i’m going to do until a jailbreak update is released.

      • Jake Platt

        It does work standalone for time and a couple of other things, but you WILL need an iPhone with the watch app to at least pair it to once before use. Like yourself, I was considering using it as a timepiece until a jailbreak came out, but when I unboxed it and turned it on I saw that the first screen asks you to pair the device with a phone, and you can’t progress until you have done that. So bear that in mind. I’m sure you could find a friend or relative with the latest OS to just pair it with to get you up and running.

  • Shaul Mano

    nice !!

  • I’d like to see the ability to pair a Bluetooth keyboard. I know what you’re thinking: the act of typing would make it difficult to read the watch screen. But I’m fluent on a one-handed keyboard called FrogPad. And there are other one-handed options as well, such as the Twiddler, which allows you to type with one hand while walking around.

  • Lucus Bendzsa

    We already have an iOS 8.4 jailbreaj which means the watch is jaikbreakable, but some people aren’t nice enough to share.

    • Agreed

    • Aaron

      You mean somebody isn’t “nice” enough to give up exploits that are worth actual money away for FREE? Eyeroll. This is what’s wrong with the jailbreak scene, self entitled people thinking these developers owe them something.

      • CloudSurfin

        so start charging. i’d pay for a jb.

  • theapple99

    you forgot the tweak for us to run fart apps

  • Ecigsandcoffee

    This list is the reason I’m waiting for the second Apple Watch. Well, this and I refuse to give up my damn Jailbreak. Shit is sweeeeeeeeeet 🙂

  • Cones1r

    I wonder if Apple does this on purpose to see what the community will come up with.

    • Aaron

      Not sure htey do it on purpose, but they will definitely be paying attention. Would be stupid of them not to!

  • Joey_Z

    watch video on your wrist?

  • Urname

    Another to add to the list: Give Siri back her voice. So disappointed I can’t have conversations with my watch 🙁

  • Sohail Wahab

    The jailbreak tweak I need for my watch would be time speak hourly

  • mostly42

    I would also like the option to send both the text and audio together when sending a text message.

  • Lemerio P.

    There needs to be a “dismiss-all” or “clear-all” it’s a pain if I’m doing something and can’t attend to the notifications immediately and have to clear each individual notification.

    • blopper42

      Force touch the notifications screen

  • Benedict

    Still can’t understand why people buy a device (iphone, ipad and now apple watch) when they realize after some days, a lot of things are missing and aren’t possible because the vendor restricts it. Almost all your wished are possible with android wear. You must be kinda masochistic.
    Here’s just an example of 3rd party apps running in airplain mode:

  • therealjjohnson

    If only the watch could do those cool things out of the box. Its frustrating.

  • Michael Sweeney

    That music made the video experience seem pretty intense. Great ideas and concepts for a possible jailbreak.

  • Tae Whan Kim

    I alway have iphone and galaxy Ss… now Ive got gal S6 with Gear S and obviously iphone and apple watch. Gear S allows many many things but apple watch is just crap like when iphone just came out. I really hope some one can jailbreak apple watch and come out to public!!!

  • Sachin