Automations can be wonderful. You can make things happen with a one-time action and have them repeat. And with the Shortcuts app on iPhone you can set up personal automations for your Apple Watch.
One such automation you may find handy is changing your Watch face based on time of day, location, or action. For instance, you might like a certain face in the morning as your day is starting and a different one as your evening begins. As another example, you might prefer a particular face for when you head to the office and another when you arrive home.
Here, we’ll show you how to automatically change your Apple Watch face for situations like these.
Change Apple Watch face automatically by time
Let’s start with a Watch face that changes based on the time of day. And we’d like to thank Jake Behrens and his Twitter post for the idea!
1) Open Shortcuts on your iPhone and tap Automation at the bottom.
2) Tap the plus sign at the top to add one and choose Create Personal Automation.
3) Pick Time of Day at the top of the New Automation screen.
4) Select Sunrise, Sunset, or a custom Time of Day. Optionally, set the automation to repeat Daily, Weekly, or Monthly if you like.
5) Tap Next and then tap Add Action.
6) You can scroll through the Suggestions here, but it’s easier to pop the word “Watch” into the Search at the top. This should display Watch at the very top under Apps, so tap it.
7) On the list of Watch actions, select Set Watch Face.
8) On the Actions screen, tap “Face” in blue. Choose the face you want to use for the time you selected.
Tip: If you’re doing this just for fun, you can pick the option at the bottom for Ask Each Time and select one by mood or activity when prompted.
9) Now you’ll be back on the Actions screen and should see the face you selected in the action. Tap Next.
10) On the following screen, you’ll likely want to turn off the toggle for Ask Before Running. If you leave this enabled, you’ll be prompted each time the automation runs which is really unnecessary. If you disable the toggle, confirm by tapping Don’t Ask.
11) Tap Done.
This completes the setup process for the automation and you’ll be directed to the main Automation screen where you should see the one you just created.
Follow the same steps to set up the Watch face changes for the additional times of day.
Change Apple Watch face automatically by location
Next, we’ll show you how to set up an automation to change your Watch face based on location. This is pretty much the same process except you’re choosing a location instead of a time.
1) Follow Steps 1 and 2 above and pick Arrive or Leave at the top of the New Automation screen, depending on when you want the face to change.
2) Tap Choose to pick the location and then tap Done. You can optionally select a Time Range for changing locations or simply set it to Any Time.
3) Tap Next and then tap Add Action.
4) Follow the remaining Steps 6 through 11 above to add the action for your Watch, select the face, and finish the automation setup.
Other handy Watch face actions
Now that you see the basics for automatically changing your Apple Watch face based on time or location, you might try some other actions.
Once you start setting up the automation, review the available actions. You can change the face based on before you commute, when Airplane Mode is turned on, when your Watch reaches a certain battery level, and more.
Let us know about the automations you set up for changing your Apple Watch face in the comments below or share them with us on Twitter!