Apple Watch Series 7 owners report mysterious third-party app glitches

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Apple Watch 7 app glitches
There should be app icons in those empty spaces.
Photo: James Thomson

Users setting up brand-new Apple Watch Series 7 units today report a number of strange glitches with third-party apps. In addition to missing app icons, many see problems rendering complications, the tiny widgets that surface info from various apps on the watch face.

It seems the glitches may be related to the App Store. Apple has not yet publicly acknowledged the problem, and there is apparently nothing users can to do set things straight.

Users report app problems on Apple Watch Series 7

Getting a new Apple device should be a pretty terrific experience — that certainly used to be the case. But several new Apple products rolled out this year left owners disgruntled due to hardware and software problems.

The new iPad mini exhibits a “jelly scrolling” effect in portrait mode, for instance. And iPhone 13 came with all kinds of bugs that affected Apple Music, Home screen widgets, CarPlay, Apple Watch and touch input.

If you were hoping things would be different for Apple Watch Series 7, we have bad news. A growing number of users report strange glitches that cause third-party app icons to vanish, and complications to render incorrectly.

App icons go missing on Apple Watch 7

“As I’ve noticed on my own Apple Watch and has been confirmed by others, some third-party apps are simply not having their icons rendered on-screen,” wrote Oliver Haslam for iMore. On Twitter, multiple new Apple Watch owners reported the same thing.

The problem doesn’t affect Apple’s own app icons on Apple Watch, and everything appears fine inside the Apple Watch simulator on Mac. That leads PCalc developer James Thomson to think the problem has something to do with the way in which the App Store is delivering apps to Apple Watch 7.

“My suspicion is, since all this stuff works perfectly fine in the watchOS simulator for the Series 7 watch, the App Store mechanisms are stripping out the wrong images when downloading the apps,” Thomson tweeted. “If so, it might be possible to fix server side. I really hope so …”

Sadly, this isn’t the only problem plaguing third-party Apple Watch apps.

Apple Watch complications are broken

Haslam, Thomson and other Apple Watch Series 7 owners also reported problems with certain third-party complications. Many reportedly render at the wrong size, so they don’t look right on Apple Watch’s new display.

While there’s no official fix for these problems, one thing you can do to make the icon issue a little less frustrating is have your Apple Watch apps displayed in list view rather than the floating honeycomb layout. That reveals the names of the apps (so you actually know what they are) alongside their icons.

Cult of Mac asked Apple for comment on these problems. We will update this post if we get a response.