"Always on" tweak for Apple Watch?

TeeJayHoward

Limpness Supreme
Joined
Feb 8, 2005
Messages
10,440
Looking for a way to keep an app running on my Apple Watch series 3 all the time without the screen dimming or turning off. The wrist-flick motion works about one in four times, and it's annoying as hell. Since you can't do custom watch faces, I've been using something that is basically a self-signed watch app. Initially I thought I'd buy a Series 5 and run the same app, but it looks like the "Always on" feature doesn't work for anything except the Apple clock, and even then it dims the screen to the point of being nigh-unreadable in direct sunlight. I'd also like to drop the refresh rate to 1Hz like the series 5 does if possible to save some battery life. Plus I want the S5's bigger size. Apple's SO CLOSE to finally releasing what I wanted half a decade back... Just a few more tweaks and it's there.

Really, I'd like to just add a custom watch face to the Apple Watch - but let's face it, Apple won't ever let its customers do that.

So, is it possible to "jailbreak" an Apple Watch so it can do all the nifty things any old Android watch can do? Or should I just give up on the idea of using a smart watch like a watch and get used to the idea of pushing a button to read the time?

IMG_2097.jpg
 

UnknownSouljer

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Sep 24, 2001
Messages
6,803
I think you're hoping for something that can't be done.

The Series 5 display is a marvel in itself, but it's a tech that had to be really thought through and designed. It allows for 1 to 60Hz refresh, and it uses the "power" of OLED to be black (that is to say off) in order to save power. While the series 5 is in its static state, it's operating at 1Hz, it turns off things like the second hand and a bunch of other tricks to do what it does.
Can you hack your series 3 and have it be forced to be on? Maybe. But even if you did you'd cause the problem that Apple had and the reason that it wasn't always on in the first place until the Series 5: battery life. I doubt the watch would survive more than 3 or 4 hours being "truly on" all the time.
Then you have to ask: is it worth it to spend time trying to force the watch to operate this way and end up with a result that probably isn't worth it? Well, I guess that's up to you.

While we're hoping that Apple finally opens the API to change the watch face to something that at least third party people design, we're still not there yet.
Believe it or not, I think it will happen. But I imagine it will only be after Apple releases the tools necessary to do so and then only through the App store where they'll have strict quality control to ensure there aren't any garbage faces.
I'm not holding my breath for this functionality. It might still be several years yet. This is definitely a part of this walled garden situation where you kind of either like the garden how it is or you don't.
 
Last edited:

Aurelius

2[H]4U
Joined
Mar 22, 2003
Messages
2,997
Looking for a way to keep an app running on my Apple Watch series 3 all the time without the screen dimming or turning off. The wrist-flick motion works about one in four times, and it's annoying as hell. Since you can't do custom watch faces, I've been using something that is basically a self-signed watch app. Initially I thought I'd buy a Series 5 and run the same app, but it looks like the "Always on" feature doesn't work for anything except the Apple clock, and even then it dims the screen to the point of being nigh-unreadable in direct sunlight. I'd also like to drop the refresh rate to 1Hz like the series 5 does if possible to save some battery life. Plus I want the S5's bigger size. Apple's SO CLOSE to finally releasing what I wanted half a decade back... Just a few more tweaks and it's there.

Really, I'd like to just add a custom watch face to the Apple Watch - but let's face it, Apple won't ever let its customers do that.

So, is it possible to "jailbreak" an Apple Watch so it can do all the nifty things any old Android watch can do? Or should I just give up on the idea of using a smart watch like a watch and get used to the idea of pushing a button to read the time?

View attachment 188390

To elaborate on what UnknownSouljer said: the Series 5 achieves the 1Hz rate due to display technology (LTPO) that's new not just for Apple, but for the entire smartwatch industry. It's something you can't force in software on any other current smartwatch no matter how much you'd like to, and forcing it on at full speed and high brightness would not only murder battery life, but encourage burn-in (since pixels would stay in place at bright levels).

Never say never when it comes to custom Apple Watch faces, although I suspect Apple would only ever do it through a vetted store (plus its current Photos face). I'm sure it doesn't like the thought of watch industry lawsuits for letting people install clones of mechanical watch faces. You won't see that BR 03 face officially reach an Apple Watch unless it comes from Bell & Ross.

On that note: why not get a cellular Apple Watch and use the Explorer face? It's closer to the BR 03 than you might think, with the biggest difference being the use of small seconds instead of a hand on the main dial.
 

marshac

American Hero
Joined
Mar 25, 2003
Messages
2,463
Switch from the 3 to 5 - it's a large enough of an upgrade to be worth it. Response is much faster than the 3 and makes using siri to text usable. LTE is the way to go, and with most carriers only charging $10/mo for service, there's not much of a reason to go without it.
 
Top