Automatically Change Your Apple Watch Face by Location or Time

Like Jaaken H’gar, Apple Watch has many faces. And while manually flipping through all the different options is easy, there’s no need to: if you like to use different faces for different activities like work, workout, and work, to impressyour body size on the couch when you’re not doing the first two, you you can automate the process.

Using the iOS shortcut capabilities, you can set your Apple Watch to change automatically based on the time or your current location. When you go to the gym, you get the face of fitness; When it’s time to relax at night, you can switch to a more relaxing face and less distraction. The possibilities are endless.

To get started, update your iPhone to iOS 14 and your Apple Watch to watchOS 7. Then launch Shortcuts on your iPhone. Click Automation , and then click Create Personal Automation if you’ve never created a shortcut before, or the plus sign in the upper-right corner if you have one.

Now, you’ll choose which trigger you want to use to change the Apple Watch face. It could be anything – when you go to bed, when you arrive at a specific location, when you connect your phone to CarPlay, etc. For the purposes of this example, let’s choose Time of Day .

Tap it, then enter the appropriate time and frequency for this trigger — every day, on specific days (“Weekly”), or once a month on a specific date and time. When you’re done, click Next in the top right corner.

Tap Add Action and either find Clock or tap Apps> Clock. When prompted, click Set Watch Face .

Once you return to your main shortcut creation screen, make sure you’ve already set up all of the faces you might want to use through the Watch iOS app. If you haven’t, dive in and initialize them. Then, to add a face to this shortcut, click on the blue text of the word “Face”. Select any face you want to display when the trigger fires. (You may also have a shortcut that prompts you to select a face when a trigger fires, but that can be annoying.)

Now that you’ve created your shortcut, click Next in the upper right corner. You will see a final screen confirming your shortcut. On it, I would disable Ask Before Launch to keep the trigger / action process smooth. You will get a small warning message, but that’s okay. Tap Done .

When your shortcut launches, you will receive a notification on your Apple Watch about it. There is no way to turn them off except for a clever workaround of using iOS’s built-in Screen Time feature to turn them off. However, this is only a temporary fix, as notifications will appear the next time the device is restarted. It’s a slight annoyance, but that’s the price we pay for automation.

Advanced Mode: How to Randomize Apple Watch Faces

Getting new Apple Watch faces to appear on schedule is great and all, but what if you want to put your watch faces in shuffle mode? This is also possible. The redditor came up with a script that basically works like a shortcut that picks a random number, with each potential number assigned a separate dial. It looks like this:

Obviously, you need to tweak the shortcut a bit if you want to add more watch faces than two, but it’s simple enough. You can then add this shortcut to one of your iOS pages and press it when you need a random watch face, or you can create a personal automation (as described above) that triggers this shortcut at a specific time during the day.

I haven’t figured out how to create a personal automation that runs at a random time yet, but I hope this is possible. (To cheat, you can always set the automation to fire whenever you download your favorite app.)


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