These hacks enable custom Apple Watch faces and 3D Touch gestures on iPad Pro via Apple Pencil

By , Nov 24, 2015

Apple Watch custom faces Hamza Sood 001

watchOS 2, the operating system powering Apple’s wearable gizmo, includes support for third-party complications on select watch faces designed to support them.

But as far as watch faces themselves go, users are limited to a handful of built-in styles as Apple’s software development kit (SDK) doesn’t allow for downloadable watch faces yet.

As it turns out, a quick hack that prolific iOS developer Hamza Sood posted on Twitter back in August (no, it didn’t fly under our radar) gets around Apple’s limitations and permits unofficial development and installation of custom faces for Apple’s wearable device.

And earlier this morning, Sood also posted another hack which brings 3D Touch Peek and Pop gestures to the iPad Pro via the Apple Pencil’s pressure sensing technology.

Hack #1: custom watch faces

Granted, this isn’t an Apple-sanctioned solution and as such should be treated as a simple proof-of-concept, though there’s no doubt in my mind that Apple will enable third-party watch faces in the Apple Watch App Store at some point.

In the video embedded below, you can see Sood choosing a custom watch face named Onoz Omg and select between some rater psychedelic colors.

Source code along with the instructions on how to duplicate the hack is on GitHub.

Peek and Pop on iPad Pro via Apple Pencil pressure

The iPad Pro disappointed some people over its lack of pressure-sensing screen technology that debuted on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus: 3D Touch.

By default, iOS 9’s 3D Touch gesture recognizers will only respond to direct touches. However, Sood was able to override the gesture recognizer’s creation point on a jailbroken device, forcing them all to also accept Pencil input.

Here’s the video of the hack in action.

As pressure values from the Pencil are on a slightly different scale than those from a regular touch on a 3D Touch display, he has to scale up those values a bit so you “won’t have to press as hard with the Pencil to trigger 3D Touch.”

Source code for this hack is also available through GitHub.

Do you think third-party watch faces make sense for Apple’s wearable platform? And what about lack of 3D Touch on the iPad Pro, does it disappoint you?

Source: Hamza Sood

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  • I think custom watchfaces are a dealbreaker, as I find the Watchfaces from Apple are pretty boring. FE this is a square watch with no sqare Watchfaces an only one Font.

  • James G

    Wow. These are both awesome!

    And that OMG watch face…definite lols.

  • So even though the iPad pro doesn’t have 3d touch it still contains the code to respond to pressure?

    • Merman123

      The Apple Pencil does.

  • throttle clutch e brake

    I’m assuming Xcode is necessary to bring the watch faces on to a readers Apple Watch ?

  • simmerkatt

    By an Android Watch, problem solved.

    • An Android Watch would be a downgrade in the sense that iOS does not expose enough functionality for it to properly compete with the Apple Watch as an example Pebble (yes I know it’s not Android Wear) has to go through a massive hack just to send and receive text messages.

      • simmerkatt

        True

  • Jonathan

    I think it’s ridiculous he hasn’t shared the full instructions for loading the dylib onto the Apple Watch