back to article Apple to devs: Watch out, don't make the Watch into a, well, a watch

Apple has banned Watch apps that tell the time from the App Store, thus forbidding them from fanbois' wrists. The terms and conditions of the store explicitly state that timepiece software is a no-go. You'll just have to use the watch faces provided by the Cupertino idiot-tax operation. It's not the first time Apple has …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ughhh. Like having a DSLR with the kit lens welded on, but you can still use FX filters. Then again, crappy devices offer crappy operation.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      More like having alternative calling application using cellular network on your cell phone (not Skype etc, but really using the same cell network). To me it makes perfect sense.

      The only benefit you could do is having different UI, which is counterproductive in primary functions, not mentioning the fact that in watch business if you want different fascia you buy different watch. And their stated intent is to emulate classical watch business (up to a point).

      You still have a choice. You can have Samsung. Or LG. Or...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        So if you had a MacBook, or a iMac. you'd be happy with a preset background and icons, never being allowed to change them?

        1. Test Man

          Microsoft managed to kinda do that with their Windows 7 Starter Edition OS...

          1. Blitterbug

            Re: Microsoft managed to kinda do that with their Windows 7 Starter Edition OS

            Yah but that was hacked within weeks with a nice mod that returned the 'personalise' option to the desktop right-click context menu. I recall applying this to many a Win7 Starter netbook. And MS didn't fight back with a patch, afaik...

        2. Cynic_999


          So if you had a MacBook, or a iMac. you'd be happy with a preset background and icons, never being allowed to change them?


          I would not mind one bit - It has never bothered me that I can't change the icons or background on the controls of my TV remote, toaster or washing machine either.

          1. Law

            "I would not mind one bit"

            Bollocks. That is all.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            You CAN change your toaster, remote buttons etc though, if you want.

            you might not have the personal ability to do a good job of it, but the manufacturer doesnt say that other companies cant offer new remote control faces to the market.

      2. Indolent Wretch

        On android of course you can have alternate dialler apps. Why shouldn't you. It's your phone. Some are funky, some are streamlined, some are for the short sighted, some for the differently abled.

        >>not mentioning the fact that in watch business if you want different fascia you buy different watch

        This one comment goes against everything that is sensible about having a watch with a screen.

    2. Mike Bell

      Like having a DSLR with the kit lens welded on

      Nope. It's more like having a Canon DSLR that has hardened paint to stop you tampering with the Canon logo to make it look shit.

      Rolex make nice looking watches. They would not want their brand to be associated with arbitrary cheap after-market watch faces. Apple are in a position to enforce such compliance, and it's no great surprise that they are doing so.

      1. Darryl

        There's your difference. Rolex makes nice looking watches. Apple makes chunky square blocks with screens on the front.

    3. werdsmith Silver badge

      I've got a really nice new Seiko.

      Last week I used my watchmakers tool to open up the front bezel and remove the hands and the watchface background. I then replaced it with a new watchface background that has a photo of Tina Charles on it. I carefully replaced the hands and the front bezel/glass and I have a fantastic Seiko Tina Charles watch. Next week I might change the photo to Kelly Marie.

      But Seiko are saying I've invalidated the warranty. BASTARDS.

      1. BongoJoe
        Thumb Up

        I have to say that I am impressed.

        Anyone who is old enough to remember Tina Charles and have the eyesight and steadiness of hand to do this procedure deserves a doff of my cap.

        1. Bongwater


          Are you related to Congo? :)

          1. BongoJoe

            Re: Bongo

            No, not to all of it.

      2. 404

        New Seiko

        Good watches, aren't they?

        I've a 10 year old Seiko Kinetic - get it cleaned/maintained every 5 years. Best $135 I've parted with in a long time. Unsure about the Tina Charles bit, but a Steampunk version would appeal to me.

        Have a great day!

  2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Well, well, well, well...

    You could display a coffinated Jobs slowly rotating in microgravity and cunningly deduce the time-of-day based on the position of his outstretched arms.

    Of course, declaring Apple a "monopoly" would be stupid as it sure isn't. It's a successful business, that's all. Still, busting all the patents and flushing them down the drain would ensure that antitrust discussions would not even arise... but State loves to solve problems it has enabled itself, in particular if high-paying jobs in the bureaucracy and possible backhand deals are involved.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well, well, well, well...

      Yep. The only monopoly element related to Apple is the money that represents it's 700,000,000,000 evaluation.

    2. Bubba Von Braun

      Re: Well, well, well, well...

      It certainly is by any definition a monopolist within its eco-system. It is removing freedom of choice for the device owners this is no different to the way M$ conducted itself..

      I mean to say you wont allow someone to sell and App that tells the time in a unique way.. You only have to look at the new Pebble Time and see the innovative ways folks are playing with presenting the time to reserve that for yourself is monopolistic.

      Their obstructive conduct their ebooks settlement shows they haven't learned anything.. time for DoJ to act.

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Re: It certainly is by any definition a monopolist within its eco-system

        What does that even mean?

        Nobody should be allowed to comment on monopolies without at least reading a wikipedia page on the MS case or something.

      2. lpcollier

        Re: Well, well, well, well...

        It isn't a monopolist by a sensible definition. A decade and a half ago, Microsoft were considered a monopolist because nearly every computer sold ran a Microsoft operating system. Those that didn't - PCs running Linux, Macs, even big iron - were a drop in the ocean. Even to run Linux or another alternative OS, most people had to buy a PC that included a Microsoft license then wipe the hard drive.

        Right now most personal computers sold don't run an Apple OS, most watches don't, most phones don't, most smartphones don't. They might be the biggest grossing seller in each of those markets, but they don't represent a monopoly. In other markets, e.g. Blu-ray players, there's even less interoperability with most manufacturers only allowing accessories and software that they provide.

      3. Spleen

        Re: Well, well, well, well...

        That's like arguing that Mars have a monopoly because they're the only company that sell Mars Bars. You can argue about it all day but you still would be missing the point of what a monopoly is.

        The device owners have plenty of choice - their choice is not to buy an Apple Watch and buy one of its many competitors instead.

        Restricting what consumers do with your product is not monopolistic. Some restaurants allow you to bring your own wine, others insist you buy a bottle from their cellar, the latter are more restrictive but they are not monopolistic. If you don't like the more restrictive environment, go to one of the others.

      4. JLV

        Re: Well, well, well, well...

        >time for DoJ to act

        Hyperbole much?

        Because there are no other more pressing concerns for the American public.

        Than protecting the God-given rights of a minority of affluent early adopters (of a device category of very debatable utility at this point) to choose their watch face on their freely-chosen fringe utility device. No, really, nothing better to do for the DoJ.

        "Monopoly within their ecosystem". Do you even know what the definition of a monopoly is? Don't like Apple? Don't buy it. Or maybe you should be counsel for DoJ?

        Seriously, Apple's pointless little control-freakery can be annoying at times. And it is here. But I find the whole notion of iTards being annoyed by their iWatches rather amusing in this instance.

        And it's not like Apple users, of which I am one, albeit on more useful gear, don't expect that Apple will, pointlessly or not, hobble direct competition within their own ecosystem.

        Those people... can always buy elsewhere. Or, wonder of wonders, actually hold off buying a one-day-battery watch that is not even properly waterproof.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Well, well, well, well...

          If Apple have done such a bad thing, such a heinous, outrageous abuse of their customers, such terrible evil dark dealings, then the customers can just buy something else. But as many of the same commentards that are baying evil Apple here are the same ones that said nobody would ever buy an Apple watch, then I take it this is not really anything to write home about.

          Apple bosses live or die by their decisions.

    3. Unicornpiss

      Re: Well, well, well, well...

      "You could display a coffinated Jobs slowly rotating in microgravity and cunningly deduce the time-of-day based on the position of his outstretched arms."

      ---No you couldn't, he's by now spinning way too fast in his grave to make a reliable timepiece.

      1. King Jack

        Re: Well, well, well, well...

        "---No you couldn't, he's by now spinning way too fast in his grave to make a reliable timepiece."

        Just use him as a quartz crystal and calculate the time from that.

  3. Craig Foster

    Face it

    If the primary purpose for buying an Apple Watch was the knowing the time, you're not the target market...

    1. Thorne

      Re: Face it


      My first iwatch app will be a voice saying over and over "Look at me. I have an iWatch"

      1. YetAnotherLocksmith

        Re: Face it

        Thorne, I think you've got it!

        "Look at me. It is 09:20 and I have an iWatch"

        Ban bypassed!

        1. Spleen

          Re: Face it

          "At the third beep, the wearer of this watch will be - a bellend. Beep. Beep. Beeeeeeeep."

      2. Lusty

        Re: Face it

        Why would you want to tell everyone you had an iWatch? Surely it would be a better boast if you had an Apple Watch?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Truth is funnier than fiction.

    Just saying.

    Does anyone have a patent on time?

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Truth is funnier than fiction.

      The Swiss do...

      In the second one it looks like some foresighted Swiss patent troll.

      1. returnmyjedi

        Re: Truth is funnier than fiction.

        That Swiss watch design has very rounded corners.

  5. h3

    Wonder why Outlook is allowed if it cannot duplicate the features provided by mail (Or the Gmail App).

    1. Craig Foster

      Given Apples inbuilt software quality of late

      Outlook gets a pass because it actually works...

      1. Thorne

        Re: Given Apples inbuilt software quality of late

        "Outlook gets a pass because it actually works..."

        Does it? My Outlook is pissing me off by copying emails into folders instead of moving them so I end up with duplicates. Nothing I've tried will stop it.

        Stupid M$.......

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. Mark 85 Silver badge

    So no Mickey Mouse telling time then? A pity. I'll just have to keep my "famous Japanese maker quartz movement" Mickey watch* then.

    *I tell people it's a company issued watch when I want to irritate my boss...

    1. notowenwilson

      I have no idea about the Apple Watch, but my ipod nano of a few years back definitely had a mickey mouse clock face on it so there's still hope for you.

    2. Kitschcamp

      Er, yes. It comes as standard.

    3. Cornholio

      Seen elsewhere

    4. chivo243 Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      @Mark 85

      You work for a Mickey Mouse outfit too?

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Mickey does tell the time... on an Apple Watch.


      You'll be OK, one of the available watch faces is Mickey Mouse!

  7. Kurt 4


    Apple sounds like a real nice company...

  8. Zap

    WTF has it got to do with Apple, surely it is up to the USERS (you know the one's paying for the bloody thing) to decide what they do and do not like.

    This is why I am NOT a fan of Apple, all the success of the iPhone etc is because of the App developers that Apple exploit.

    If you really want to understand Apple mentality get the low down from this interview with one of their senior engineers

    Apple Engineer Talks about the New 2015 Macbook

    1. Lee D

      I'm not entirely sure that the developers are that happy either, but there's cash to be had.

      Last I checked, you needed to pay an annual fee in order to produce apps for iPads, etc. And you have to compile them with XCode, etc. on a licenced Mac. There are ways around it but nothing really official and everything else is technically unsupported. You can end up with two codebases and project files because of that, but the developers still seem to suffer it.

      There's a reason that people who make Flash websites for schools etc. often just say "Apple? No, sorry, we might have an app in a few year's time" and when it's time for it to come out, they've just converted the website to HTML5 instead.

      1. Tim Almond

        iOS Apps

        It's worse than that. It isn't even a "licensed Mac". Try uploading to the app store with an old mac, like one running Snow Leopard. Application Loader won't run on it, the latest XCode won't run on it. And you can't upgrade it past Snow Leopard because reasons. Then there's Apple's gatekeeping rules including "not useful" (sorry, not your decision).

        I did a small app in Phonegap and we've dropped iOS. Android? Completely different experience. £30 to sign-up for life. Develop on anything. Make it look how you like. Don't include malware or porn but beyond that, it's your app.

        We pretty much decided that it wasn't worth it and so are only doing Android.

        1. Indolent Wretch

          Re: iOS Apps

          >> And you can't upgrade it past Snow Leopard because reasons.

          Moderately recent Mac mini here, bought for some app dev. Core 2 Duo, perfectly powerful enough for dev work. Can I still use it. Not a chance.

          Although it's a 64 bit processor I can't upgrade the OS to the versions needed because Apple only included a 32 bit EFI.

          Official support to allow install would probably take 1 or 2 developers a days work. Some guys off the Internet have managed to put something very long winded and complex together to allow install.

          Apple. Not a chance. Bunch of asshats.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: iOS Apps

            Let's recap

            Apple = bunch of asshats who won't let you design your iOS apps the way you want or on a platform that you want.

            So why are you still dealing with them?

    2. Hellcat

      Zap, darling...

      By giving users any ability to customise the device would be "abdicating [their] responsibility as a designer". After all, they know better than us!

      1. Lusty

        Re: Zap, darling...

        They probably do know better than you. It's quite likely that apps run in a much less efficient way to the watch face, and so a watch app would kill the power in a few hours because you'd always need to have an app running. The standard watch faces probably aren't normal apps and almost certainly have power saving built in.

        1. Lee D

          Re: Zap, darling...

          So that's "Developers are too stupid, only we can program perfect apps, who cares what the user wants or whether they realise that one app is sapping all the power. And, hey, we won't bother to tell you the super-secret API tricks we use to save power because that would make your apps USEFUL to others, we'll just keep you all in the dark"

          There's a reason I hate Apple. In fact, there are many.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Zap, darling...

        Zap, darling...

        By giving users any ability to customise the device would be "abdicating [their] responsibility as a designer". After all, they know better than us!

        I've had to sanitise this because I really don't want to be identified but I used software where they refused to to allow any changes because of a similar mentality. After all what would the users of the software know about suggesting changes to make the software better?......

        The management of a company I used to work for decided one day after a merger with another firm (where we got a new head of technology) that both sides of the firm should all be using the same software product across the group. This software is fairly critical to each site but isn't something that needs to interact from one site to any other and is fairly standalone. The data it produced was used on site and if it really needed to go somewhere else it would be FTP'd or some such. The new company management decide that they are going to go with supplier A who we had in the old company had ditched a while ago because their products sucked just a tiny bit and there was little innovation or desire to listen to customer suggestions. Supplier A also refused to make any changes that were suggested to them to make the product better because North America don't need it and they're our biggest market. They also said that adding the suggestions to the software might confuse people who don't need it, despite protestations that if they didn't think it was a good idea they could just hide it in a menu somewhere and stick it behind a password - no dice! So we moved to and worked with supplier B that had a good product which we liked and were happy to add the features in that we asked for "that's a very good idea give us a month to develop and test it - then it'll be in the next update. We were told that we'd be moving back to supplier A and their new product. This was "more modern" i.e. newly released - and integrated with another product from them that we'd be taking to make life 'easier' for everyone.

        Shortly after having it installed at the one test site (and another one was being done) the complaints came rolling in, chief among them was "Why can't you queue items, you used to be able to?" There were also complaints about the GUI, why did actions have to be animated on the screen, that's pointless? Why was there a limit on the routines but not data that could be stored on the system etc. Is this just a version of the DOS program ported to Windows, because the functionality is the same i.e. no improvement? All of this was brushed aside or just ignored until one night someone applied an action to the database something the software company A had said was possible to reverse. It turned out it wasn't and roughly one terabyte of data at the test site was essentially cream crackered. So the staff revolted, the site manager chief among them (he said if the system wasn't removed he'd do it with a sledge hammer) and the roll out was put on hold and only the currently happening install was completed (would have cost more to drop it and go with something else - some custom hardware was already installed and paid for). So they went with software supplier C which was offering an similar but more modern version of supplier B software and there were far fewer complaints from other sites that were upgraded to the new C software.

  9. Winkypop Silver badge
    Big Brother

    APPLE: This is not the time you are looking for

    FAN BOIS (monotone): This is not the time we are looking for

  10. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    The Apple Watch?

    Oh, that's so last second {to the tune of that equally crappy moneysupermarket advert with Sharon O}

  11. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. P. Lee

      Having a different app to tell the time would:

      1. stop people from identifying it as an iwatch (bad for apple)

      2. drain the battery (bad for the user, then bad for apple with unhappy users and reviews). I'd expect there is some ultra-low-power system for doing this normally

      The whole iwatch thing is on pretty shaky ground to start with, so I'm not surprised Apple are trying to prevent problems.

      1. YetAnotherLocksmith

        Very droll.

        A low power way to tell the time? The battery goes dead after 3 hours.

        1. Simon Harris

          "A low power way to tell the time?"

          That's given me a time-telling idea...

          A battery meter app that says:

          "This battery was charged at 08.30,

          It discharges at 10%* per hour.

          It is now 23% full.

          You do the math(s)" **

          * Or whatever

          ** See, I can handle internationalisation!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        No, drain your phone and then your watch.

        I heard that Apps actually run on the iPhone, not the iWatch.

        Double trouble but at least you get a days use out of it !

        I suspect they screwed up the chip design but went ahead with it anyway.

    2. Desidero

      "Beats" is copyrighted, and Apple's already restricted non-native binaries. Plus, OpenBSD under iOS already has cron.

  12. msknight

    You can't use beats...

    @ 1980s_coder ...Apple bought that too. ;-)

  13. james 68


    It amazes me the differences in how certain companies are treated.

    Google = "We will bitchslap you for including Google maps, GMail etc on android but allowing others to provide similar apps to replace them."

    Apple = "Sure, do whatever the hell you want, btw my account number for that transfer is......"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hypocricy

      It's more like:

      Apple = Here, let me bend over a little further to make it more convenient for you.

    2. Yag

      Re: Hypocricy

      Probably because most people that criticize Google on those topics still uses their products, but won't even touch a iFad with a ten foot pole.

      In my case, the lack of complaints about Apple is more due to a mix of "beating a dead horse" and "shooting an ambulance" feeling.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Add fuel to the flames !

    Let's take a counter view & add some real life experience.

    It's their sandbox & if you don't like their rules then stay out.

    My real life experience with Apple Watch (move on if you're not interested).

    Took delivery Friday of two pre-order Apple Sports Watches.

    38mm Aluminium White Strap (my wife) & 42mm Space Grey with Black Strap (me).

    Two separate couriers (UPS & UK Mail).

    38mm bang on schedule & mine was 4 weeks earlier than the originally quoted date.

    I'm a watch guy & own many. I'm also a gadget guy, "platform agnostic", but obviously have iPhones without which the Apple Watch is almost a non-starter.

    Main reasons to buy were as "a watch" & communications stuff. Don't do Social Media, retired, no more long haul, thousands of customers or masses of appointments. Very active but won't be using Activity App, calorie counter, stand up etc as they are irrelevant for me. Of the 3K claimed Apps I see nothing that I don't already have except Train Arrival confirmations for station pick ups. I'm quite capable of opening a hotel door with a key or card.

    As a first effort it's great & will only get better. Give it 8 out of 10.

    Have never used Siri, until now, but on the Watch it's excellent & doubles as a Dictation device.

    As a Watch to tell the time the customisation of watch faces by the user (not an App Developer) is execellent. I've set up what I want & deleted the rest.

    However, my major whinge is that the display powers off after 15 secs. I want the TIME displayed permanently, if I wish. Hopefully this will be addressed in later releases as real customers give feedback.

    Have disabled the "turn wrist to view" which is just irritating for me & have selected the "tap to display". Same applies to my wife.

    Battery life is much, much better than expected & I charge it every other day. There would be no problems taking this to the other side of the planet. (My most expensive watch is a Rolex Explorer II bought in 1980 - I have to wind this up daily. Oldest is my father's RAF Hamilton which also needs daily winding. Most other watches have batteries or solar power. Favourite is a Citizen Eco with solar power & radio signal update at £250).

    The communications aspects of the Watch, complementing the iPhone, are outstanding. We're both thrilled. I can see this being especially popular with the ladies as there's little need, initially, to rummage in a hand bag, of course, this also applies to some men. OK, let's be fair..... I mean brief cases & backpacks.

    Neat stuff is the changeable watch strap. Have pre-ordered Spigen "Tough Armor Case" from Amazon to protect it when I get on the mountain bike this summer. Might break an arm but the Watch will survive. Can read the display without glasses which is a big deal on a bike.

    So there we have it. Let the ranting begin............. or happy to respond in this thread to sensible remarks & questions..........

    As with all this stuff: buy, don't buy, who cares? etc etc At least there's a choice & in the grand scheme of life any watch is a luxury.

    1. Chands

      Re: Add fuel to the flames !

      I don't think anyone doubts the functionality of the iWatch, I'm sure it's pretty awesome. I think my Android watch is pretty awesome too.

      I think the point is, the Android watch has 100s of watch faces thanks to user developed apps, giving the user "choice".

      Apple will not let users do the same for their iWatch, which I think is it a bit pants to be honest.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Add fuel to the flames !

        Chands - Fair comment but it's probably more to do with the Mondaine fiasco as HtB & many others across the Web mention. Apple & other large companies are targeted by Patent trolls & other low life. Of course, they are never guily of poaching copyrights from others or copying ideas !!!! Tomorrow all of this will be yesterday's news as techie journalists dream up something else to fill their blank screens. Great fun.

        1. Indolent Wretch

          Re: Add fuel to the flames !

          >> Apple ... are targeted by Patent trolls

          Oh the irony.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Add fuel to the flames !

          I own one too. I agree with the 15 seconds limit. Especially if you're looking at something!! I have a galaxy tab s that 'knows' if I'm looking at it, maybe that's the way to go.

          A fairly balanced review though rather than the haters, hating it for no other reason that it comes from Apple. Like you, I like all tech, regardless of supplier, I don't pick one piece of tech over another based on who builds it but whether it's something I want to own and play with.

          I also own more watches than a sane person should. I'm sure I'll get bored of fiddling with the sports strap (which you didn't mention btw) and go back to one of my radio controlled variants at some point.

    2. lpcollier

      Re: Add fuel to the flames !

      All this has happened before, and all this will happen again. The first digital watches required the pressing of a button to show the time, because the LED segment displays used so much power and the battery tech wasn't up to it. That's why the first Hitchhiker's Guide book frequently references digital watches - even the technophile Adams thought it was pretty stupid to replace perfectly good clockwork watches with digital models that had less functionality. I guess he got that one wrong...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Rolex Explorer II

      I've got one of those of about the same age, great watch (all stainless steel). As for the daily winding you can get an automatic winder for £20 or so, they (Rolex) don't really like being allowed to run down to a stop, just stick it on a timer and forget it until you want to wear it again.

      1. TheProf

        Re: Rolex Explorer II

        Automatic winder for £20? Couldn't you just move your watch arm a bit during the day?

        1. Mike Flex

          Re: Rolex Explorer II

          "Couldn't you just move your watch arm a bit ?"

          It's common for watch collectors to have more self-winding watches than available wrists.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Rolex Explorer II

          Automatic winders are used by people who don't wear their watches. As the OP mentioned, many don't like being fully run down. If you own several watches, then you need to buy a gizmo to keep them all wound.

          No, I don't understand it either.

    4. Eponymous Cowherd

      Re: Add fuel to the flames !

      "Have disabled the "turn wrist to view" which is just irritating for me & have selected the "tap to display". Same applies to my wife."

      Hell, I wish my wife was that understanding!!!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Add fuel to the flames !

        Very good & well spotted. It's taken 43 years to train her ! (Must proof read more thoroughly...........)

  15. Harry the Bastard
    Paris Hilton

    apple is still sore from the rogering it got after stealing the swiss railway clock design

    it would only be time before apps with 'fake' timex/swatch/seiko/citizen/etc. watch faces appear and fanbois go wild to upgrade the look of their wrist jobs

    apple does not want a repeat

    1. Indolent Wretch

      Re: apple is still sore from the rogering it got after stealing the swiss railway clock design

      If only there were some, oh I don't know, often lionized by the faithful, rigorous app review process where infringing apps could be denied access to the app store.

  16. Pen-y-gors

    A mite unfair...

    Microsoft get hammered for making IE the default browser, but allowing other browsers to be installed if you prefer.

    Apple get away with completely banning alternative software.

    Fine the buggers $178 billion I say!

    1. lpcollier

      Re: A mite unfair...

      Yes, because Microsoft were a monopoly, Apple aren't. Microsoft forced several large companies almost out of business by leveraging the Windows monopoly to make their competitors' products effectively obsolete or so far behind the curve that no one would buy them. Apple aren't doing that, in fact the App Store has been a profit powerhouse for many startups and larger companies.

      Apple do keep a tight rein on the App Store which is frustrating at times, but also keeps it free of the dross that the various Android stores are packed with. On the desktop they've retreated from a number of markets and effectively given them back to their competitors (mainly Adobe with Aperture/Lightroom, Final Cut Pro/Premier). I don't think Apple are in any danger of being fined.

      1. msknight

        Re: A mite unfair...

        I only have an iPhone for work, so load a very small number of pre-specified apps for work. However, when I needed a bluetooth file transfer application, the app store was exactly the opposite of, "tight rein." it was a free-for all disaster with so many apps getting hammered in the ratings that I gave up after a considerable amount of installing, testing, removing, searching again ... rinse and repeat ... and use the iPhone for only taking work calls and handling work e-mails. That experience (much complained about lack of bluetooth file transfer, and the inability to get one from the app store that I could trust to actually work) was the final straw in the Apple coffin as far as I am concerned. Fortunately, there is now a switch to Android so I look forward to my phone getting replaced in the near future.

      2. promytius2015

        Re: A mite unfair...

        Apple IS APPLE IS APPLE IS. not ARE.

        Apples are good to eat

        An Apple a day makes the grammar go away.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A mite unfair...

          If Apple (a company representing thousands of people) IS, why a cricket team (about 11 last I checked) ARE? Make up your mind. Go all collective or go all plural.

          1. Vic

            Re: A mite unfair...

            If Apple (a company representing thousands of people) IS, why a cricket team (about 11 last I checked) ARE?

            A cricket team IS, as well. It's a singular. Pretty simple, really.

            The members of a cricket team are multiple, but the team itself is not.


  17. BristolBachelor Gold badge

    App idea

    OK I have a really unique app idea. It's a button that when pressed plays a far noise. Would this app be accepted - after all think of the utility - much more useful than a watch that told the time!

    1. Phuq Witt

      Re: App idea

      *"...a button that when pressed plays a far noise..."*

      You mean like distant thunder?... or that the app 'throws its voice'? Sounds acoustically very interesting, either way.

      [Wouldn't it be just terrible if you'd tried to make a really lame "fart app" joke but fell on your arse by not even managing to spell "fart" properly?]

  18. Kleykenb


    Don't doubt the fruit that knows better than its customers what its customers want,

  19. Paul 23


    Really the only developer app that Apple should allow on their iWatch will be one that stops pick pockets and slight of hand merchants stopping the watch disappearing of your wrist in 10 seconds

  20. Phil Endecott

    Communication with phone

    My understanding is that at present 3rd-party watch app's all run on the phone with which the watch is communicating over Bluetooth. So an app that displayed a watch face would need to create the watch face graphic on the phone and transmit it to the watch every second. That would clearly be much worse for battery life (both of the watch and the phone) than a "native" watch face. Maybe this is the reason for the restriction?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Communication with phone

      If that's the only way to get a new watchface to the iwatch, then it's pretty crappy, and I can understand Apple wanting to stop it.

      I assume that the ability to create new watch faces (which run on the iwatch) will come along at some point in the future, but IMHO it's a massive oversight for Apple to not enable this basic smartwatch capability on day 1.

      I would have expected Apple to launch an app similar to canvas (for pebble) which allows you to create/configure/customise your own watchface using a simpe app on your phone.

      Its interesting that the pebble route, is to allow 2 types of dev : (1) watchfaces only and (2) apps (which can be anything but sometimes are just watch faces. Pebble pushed this as a major feature, and I'm not aware of any watch manufacturere complaining about copyright, but then the basic B+W crappy display(*) is not really going to be confused with a real Rolex :)

      (*) I'll point out that I own & love my pebble, but aesthetically it's a little challenging!

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Communication with phone

        No, the watch is not a citrix client.

        Pebble had a problem and had to warn developers after watchmakers got upset about people making faces that aped Cartier, Rolex, Omega etc and even had the logos on them. They can't really stop it except on their own store, but as Pebble developers can write apps that run on the watch and load them without any checking or signing they can do what they like.

        I guess Apple could head these off at the App store, but it would be a whole heap of more work for them.

    2. ChrisB 2

      Re: Communication with phone

      AIUI yes.

      I suspect that in the fullness of time Apple will give developers access to the watch face IDE

  21. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Blind? Fuck you then.

    High contrast, sound, or haptic feedback would be useful for the partially-sighted but its primary purpose is telling the time so it's banned.

    So that's another reason to use a Pebble or Android Watch.

    1. Spleen

      Re: Blind? Fuck you then.

      Apple doesn't think blind people are hip enough to wear Apple Watches. Apple are for people who wear £80 pre-ripped jeans and roll through Shoreditch on tiny scooters, not people who tap-tap down the street with a white stick and a labrador with a reflective jacket. It just doesn't work from an image point of view.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Blind? Fuck you then.

        But... but... but... I sold my retinas so I could afford to buy an iWatch...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Blind? Fuck you then.

        "Apple doesn't think blind people are hip enough to wear Apple Watches. Apple are for people who wear £80 pre-ripped jeans and roll through Shoreditch on tiny scooters, not people who tap-tap down the street with a white stick and a labrador with a reflective jacket. It just doesn't work from an image point of view."

        But isn't that illegal discrimination against the disabled? If web sites have to accommodate the blind, doesn't an actual device like the iWatch?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Blind? Fuck you then.

          No. Manufacturers do not legally have to make products for the blind.

          motorbike makers dont have to make motorbikes for the blind.

          boing dont have to make aircraft that the blind can fly.

          a power drill maker doesnt have to make a drill with brail.

          Now... it gets more interesting with any company who is providing a service, rather than a product.

          services generally have to be provided to all, or it's discriminatory.

          but even then, common sense still takes precedence. A firearm trainer can refuse to train the blind.

          if every manufacturer had to make a version of their product for the blind, many simply could'nt afford yo do so.

          Apple could afford it. But as a product maker they are not obliged to.

          by the way.. I expect any app that reads the time out rather than displays it is ok.

      3. Sebby

        Re: Blind? Fuck you then.


        Apple's Marketing people need to be a bit more discerning then, because I got one.

        Don't worry. I won't be seen outdoors with it. :)

        Yes, I like it. The Remote app, especially--cordless headphones and watch means no more carrying about an iPod Touch just to rewind a few seconds whenever the headphones need to come off for something. That and handling iOS notifications while I'm on the shitter. It's no must-have, but it's nice.


        Incorrect, unless you aren't interested in US government contracts. Section 508. But you're quite right that ultimately, the law cannot stipulate mandatory requirements in the general case, even though it is very arguable that free-market capitalism is no solution. There's something to be said for extending reasonable accommodation to products and services even in cases where there isn't a clear need to those otherwise disenfranchised, but I'm sure the neoliberal ideologues and the bigots would rather the money go to some more worthwhile endeavour that suited their own interests better. Sadly too often the case in the technology sector. And I hope you're not suggesting that I won't one day be able to fly an aeroplane. :)

        And Apple are the best there is at accessibility, by several large galaxies. Whether because of regulation, market opportunity or sheer altruism, or any combination of the three, I really don't care all that much. The blind in fact now have a functional and fully accessible smart watch, if they want it, and frankly I think the best choice of accessible smartphone platform goes to Apple as well. OS X, less now that they've clearly stopped caring about the platform, but an excellent philosophy if you can deal with Apple's smugness and over-trivialisation of its software which increasingly I can't.

        As it happens, Apple already allows a blind person to tell the time just by raising their wrist, or tapping the screen or the crown.

  22. Zog_but_not_the_first


    You've forgotten Apple's motto.

    "Do it our way, and nobody gets hurt".

  23. Nameless Faceless Computer User

    It's not, "the California biz..." but rather, "the fruity firm..."

    You must be new.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple vs Microsoft

    I don't get it. Microsoft shipped with a default Web browser app and also let you install others of your choice but get hit by an anti trust lawsuit.

    Apple sell you a device with a default watch app and you can't install other watch apps and somehow this is not anti trust?

    Someone is getting paid off to look the other way.

    1. Semaj

      Re: Apple vs Microsoft

      Microsoft had a monopoly. Almost all PCs ran Windows and they were judged to have abused that fact to ruin other companies chances by bundling their own browser.

      At the moment Apple don't have a monopoly on the smartwatch business. That may change if they do really well. (I personally hope they don't because in my opinion the concept of apps, especially ones on watches is stupid and is damaging to the progress of the whole tech industry)

      The thing is I do think that Apple should have been given quite a bollocking on for their anti-competitive behaviour when the iPhone was being planned. Mainly for the way they were pretty much the only company in the MP3 selling market, used that position to lock users into iTunes, which then locked them into using iPods, which in turn they went to great lengths to ensure only worked with iTunes. Then they nicely evolved iPods into iPhones. Now if that's not a clear example of using dominance in 1 market to disrupt others I don't know what is.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Face of Apple. Nothing new here so move along.


    I reckon this ban will be down to limited edition watch faces that will appear.

    Just imagine, you could buy one of only 10,000 Deputy Dog or Fritz the Cat to poo on other watch owners.

    Yours for only 30 smackers, or 300 smackers if they try to turn it into FaceCoin.

  26. Unicornpiss

    For fuck's sake...

    You bought the device. (for a hefty premium too) You should be able to install pretty much what you want on it, as long as it's been vetted for malware and basic quality (eg. it doesn't crash all the time), and if the software sucks, change it or live with it. No clock apps for your iPhone/Watch, eh? Say what you will about Android, but at least you can do what the hell you want with your device, which is what drives evolution and innovation--finding uses you never knew you needed. If I buy an Apple TV device, will it eventually have software to filter out all appearances of Roku, Kindle Fire, etc. in media content?

    I understand that it would be stupid to mention a competitor’s products in a good light if you're trying to make money off your own. But it's still a silly strategy that fools no one (God, I hope), any more than watching a TV show where they've cunningly blocked out the manufacturer emblem on a car, but anyone who's not an idiot can still see it's a Ford or whatever.

  27. Green Nigel 42

    Time up

    As has been previously stated, its Apple's hardware & Apple's OS, that is why they can get away with what can & cannot go on their device's without the fear of restrictive trading practice actions .(as long as the end customer understands this prior to purchase, there is not a probem).

    No one is forced to buy the iWatch & or any of there other devices. Don't like it then vote with your wallet.

    1. JoshOvki

      Re: Time up

      So if it is Apples hardware, and Apples OS, what exactly are you buying?

      1. Darryl

        Re: Time up


        Whoa, whoa, whoa there, killer...

        Who said you were buying anything? I'm sure buried somewhere in the TOS is a reminder that all you're doing is leasing the ability to be hip and fashionable at the coffee shop.

      2. Green Nigel 42

        Re: Time up

        Note my caveat about clearly notifying the end customer prior to purchase of the restrictions.

        This is common practice with software you buy, which you agree to by ticking that box after reading the small print (like we all do!!). You do not own that but you buy the use of it. Apple have appeared to have taken this one stage further by applying it to the hardware they design, have manufactured & market so annoyingly seductively.

        So what are you buying?, The agreed use of it!

        The question is, were these restrictions & the permission to add more retrospectively, presented clearly to you before you bought in?

        Yes another reason I do not own/lease Apple devices.

  28. graeme leggett

    restrictive clause

    "software in the App Store cannot mention Android nor Windows Phone,"

    so you can't even say in your apps description that it is better than the one on Android/WinPhone? Or the same as the app that was previously only available on Android...?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: restrictive clause

      Nope. It gives the impression that competition exists by the mere mention. They want to make it look like Apple's the ONLY brand that matters or else you're walking on the Sun.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How about

    An app that displays pictures of famous landmarks as its main function, but also displays the time.

    Suggested landmarks include (but not limited too)

    aspects of the architecture at the top of the Elizabeth Tower at the Houses of Parliament

    the exterior of the astronomical display at Wells Cathedral

    views around the Royal Observatory Greenwich.

    Ideally you'd want to be able to zoom right in on some of these to appreciate the design work, you'd "clock it full in the face" to use an older colloquial phrase.

  30. kmac499

    Two reasons why ...

    If Apple is so confident of the superiority of it's designs they should have no worry about the acolytes looking elsewhere. Any organisation that not only denies but enforces it's afficionado's from trying alternatives is

    1) Supremely arrogant.. "We the already enlightened have seen the truth and can save you, join us and do as we say"


    2) Running scared "We the already enlightened know we are selling you a crock of crap so we can't allow you to go elsewhere."

    It smacks of at least the Wizard of OZ comment "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain." or at worst the sinister genuine cults <insert_crackpot_religion_name_here> . A shame really because once you strip away the marketing guff and huge mark ups, Apple kit is well made and well thought out.

    1. Glenn 6

      Re: Two reasons why ...

      Or 3) It's to protect both their brand, and US from weaselly 3rd-party apps taking over the watch's core function, popping up ads, tracking your activity and movements, etc.

  31. promytius2015

    Fruits for the market

    I buy my apples in a fruit store.

    The time is everywhere, no one cares what any company thinks they can control when they don't.

    I've never bought **anything** from Apple. When they first-first started out I price-compared them to real PCs and never looked at them again.

    Apple is the proof we are all going to hell; that is is Apple doesn't co-opt it first as a marketing delaying tactic.

  32. Mike 125


    It's time to call out F#cking Farce on this.

    You could not make this stuff up. Only Damien Hirst sells more worthless pieces of crap to bigger morons. But that's a very, very high bar.

  33. Glenn 6

    I can see their point, sort of

    Allowing 3rd-party apps to take over the core function of the watch would take the design experience away from Apple, and I can see how they wouldn't want that.

    More importantly however, I wouldn't WANT a 3rd-party app as the core function of my device. Most apps on the App Store are very scammy, to put it lightly. I don't think Apple wants it's product tarnished by reports of apps popping up on your watch for the latest candy crush or medieval raid game. Or to be tracked.

    1. BongoJoe

      Re: I can see their point, sort of

      Design Experience?

      I would trust that's been done ages ago in an office somewhere before the first watches came out of the factory and is something only experienced by a few.

      Of course what Apple want is to restrict the 'Design Experience' so that new developers can't share in it.

      God, how I hate these twatBadgery words and phrases. Experience, Solutions, Paradigm, Zeitgeist and the like. These, and their users, need to be nuked from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

  34. CaptainBanjax


    I bet there will be a thousand fart buttons soon enough, but they wont get banned.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Copyright Issues with the watch industry

    I'd love to be able to select a Rolex one day and an Omega the next, but Apple will get a ton of legal bother from the Swiss. I am sure there will be plenty of opportunity for me once the Watch is Jailbroken.

  36. Breen Whitman

    12.3 Apps that are too mainstream will be rejected.

  37. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Yep, Apple products

    Yep, Apple products are artificially locked down and restricted. I don't want the vendor holding my hand, so I would never buy an Apple product. You all can buy one if you want, but please don't act all surprised when Apple tells you (or the app developers) they can't do various things with it -- I'm telling you now, it's no surprise and par for the course.

  38. DaneB

    As if the device needed any app-banning for people to realise that it's a pile of cack. Stick it on the shelf next to the Apple Pippin games console.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What I really dont understand is why apple wont allow 'good' time apps into their store.

    if tbe app looks great, works great, and clearly shows off the apple watch capability... then why not allow it?

    If its rubbish.. then decline it.

    seems tbeir over zealousness could cause them to miss out on some great apps that would actually help apple sell more...

  40. oslebodg

    Illegal monopoly?

    Could I make a time telling app, wait for rejection then file class action law suit? This sounds like Netscape vs Microsoft from the 90s.

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