The Apple Watch was supposed to be more than just a fancy fitness tracker with fashionable wrist straps when it launched in 2015. As Apple executives explained at the time, this device was supposed to save us from our phones, making our digital lives more efficient while keeping us engaged with the real world.
Things didn’t quite work out that way, as the Watch’s non-fitness elements proved less compelling than Apple imagined. Consequently, the product’s direction has changed dramatically over the past two years. With the Watch Series 2, Apple made fitness the primary selling point, and last year’s WatchOS 3 update overhauled the entire interface, demoting unpopular features and de-emphasizing third-party apps.
9to5Mac uncovered code in watchOS 4.3.1, which includes some hints at what’s to come in future updates, such as warnings for old apps, in addition to a log message that states “this is where the 3rd party face config bundle generation would happen.” That’s just a placeholder reference
This is obviously just a telling bit of code and nothing more for the time being. Apple hasn’t said anything about the change, or when it might go live, and probably won’t for a while: the WWDC developers conference in June is a good bet for an announcement on the next batch of watchOS updates.
With Google rebranding its own wearable platform and cheaper alternatives like the Fitbit Versa hitting the market, Apple must be feeling the pressure to stay on top of its game in the wearables department. Dedicated Apple Watch apps are pretty thin on the ground, so this could help give the device a shot in the arm.