watchOS 7 might bring shareable Apple Watch faces, improvements for parents

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watchOS 5 Face
Got an Apple Watch face you really like? Soon you might be able to easily share it with a friend.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

A leak from inside Apple indicates the next watchOS version will allow users to share Watch faces. In addition, parents allegedly will be able to set “Schooltime” limits, restricting what a child’s Apple Watch can do during certain hours.

Other changes coming in watchOS 7 have come to light as well.

An early version of iOS 14 — not expected to debut until fall — obtained by 9to5Mac supposedly treats Watch face configurations as individual files. These can then be shared from an iPhone, but not the Watch itself. However, there’s no sign that Apple will allow third-party watch faces in watchOS 7, despite this being a much-requested feature.

Still, Apple supposedly will build a tachymeter into its wrist computer. This feature of analog watches helps runners measure their speed over a measured distance.

watchOS 7 improvements for parents

watchOS 7 reportedly will make it easier for a parent to use a single iPhone to manage Apple Watches for multiple children, including allowing Watches to use different Apple IDs.

A new “Schooltime” feature supposedly will arrive alongside Screen Time. It would allow parents to prevent specified applications and complications from running on a child’s Apple Watch during the school day. Limits on who they can communicate with would become possible, too.

But wait, there’s more

This leak also indicates that Apple will add sleep tracking to watchOS 7. This is a feature that’s been rumored for over a year.

Another change could prove painful for Apple Watch developers. 9to5Mac throws in at the end, “Starting with watchOS 7, Apple Watch apps will no longer be based on extensions.” If true, that change would force developers to rewrite many current Apple Watch applications.

An earlier report indicated that Apple Watch will gain the ability to detect users’ blood oxygen levels with the next major update.