Only Apple can create and deliver Apple Watch faces. A former Apple engineer explains why third-party Apple Watch faces are forbidden.

Forbidden Fruit

The Particle Debris article of the week comes from David Shayer at Tidbits.

As an Apple software engineer, I worked on the first two releases of watchOS, so I’m familiar with many of the Apple Watch’s internal trade-offs. While I don’t have any inside information about current versions of watchOS and Apple Watch hardware, there are at least four reasons to think Apple won’t support third-party watch faces any time soon, if ever.

Quick outline:

  1. Battery Life
  2. Buggy Code
  3. Apple’s Image
  4. Copyright Worries

Author Shayer goes into splendid, authoritative detail for each of these four reasons to explain why third-party Apple Watch faces are forbidden. It’s nice to hear such detailed reasoning from a former Apple software engineer, and it’s a very good read.

The Week’s Apple News Debris

• The Roku vs. HBO Max tussle lingers on. Why? See: “Roku vs. HBO Max: Here’s Why It’s Still Not Easy for You to Watch the Streaming Service.

Some do not fall in the category of “companies that get it.” Everyone wants to own our eyeballs, and some (all?) studios do not like the fact that Roku is often the last link in the chain. HBO Max launched May 27 and remains unavailable on either devices made by Roku or by its closest competitor, Amazon.

According to Tedd Cittadine, Roku’s head of content distribution, Disney is an example of “companies that get it.”

Apparently, so does Apple.

AppleInsider reports: “Apple working on embedding sensors behind a display, resulting in smaller bezels.

It’s what so many iMac users want, and what iPhone users have had — if the bezels around a screen can be reduced, displays can be bigger without increasing the size of a device. Apple has been criticized for the notch on the iPhone, cutting into the display, and the large bezels are all that stop the 2012-era design of the 27-inch iMac from still looking modern.

You can be sure this is coming as soon as Apple makes it all work to its satisfaction.

• Our Andrew Orr previously reported that “‘Dickinson’ Season 2 Premieres on Apple TV+ January 8.” That is my favorite Apple TV+ show. So I thought I’d also recap some show releases I’m tracking.

  • The Right Stuff – Disney+ – Oct 9
  • Star Trek: Discovery S3 – CBSAA – Oct 15
  • The Mandalorian S2 – Disney+ – Oct 30

Anyone have any SciFi additions?

• Previously, it was thought Apple would be releasing a new Apple TV 4K in 2020. It hasn’t happened. Yet.

Apple TV 4K.

The next gen Apple TV 4K has been rumored to include a redesigned remote. On hold?

When Apple neglects rather than continuously celebrates (and updates) one of its products, we worry. Apple’s neglect of the Apple TV /4K/hardware has Simon Cohen at Digital Trends worried. “Pray for Apple TV: Is this the end of the line for Apple’s streaming box?

Apple’s “hobby,” the Apple TV streaming media set-top box, is sitting at just 2% of the global streaming media device market, something that should be sending shockwaves through Apple’s senior management team.

Does this mean the end of the line for Apple TV, as it finds itself in the awkward position of being the most expensive device of its kind, in a world where fewer and fewer people need a device like the Apple TV in the first place? We think it’s possible.

Author Cohen enumerates the things Apple could do to insure survival and even make it thrive. Including a re-designed remote. Personally, I doubt this product is on the chopping block. But there’s something (not) going on, and I worry a little,

• We now have a bunch of new HomePod, HomePod mini and HomePod 2 rumors. Here’s some history and analysis of what may be in store for us.

• Finally, here’s a very good summary from ars technica: “What to expect from Apple’s October 13 “Hi, Speed” event.

Apple is working on a bunch of new things. It’ll be interesting to see how much of it is announced on October 13. My hope is all of it.


Particle Debris is generally a mix of John Martellaro’s observations and opinions about a standout event or article(s) of the week followed by a discussion of articles that didn’t make the TMO headlines, the technical news debris. The column is published most every Friday.

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