Apple Watch
Apple’s smartwatch series could be getting third-party watch face support very soon. Reuters/Issei Kato

Apple’s Apple Watch smartwatch series could soon get third-party watch face support based on a line of code that’s been unearthed in the latest watchOS 4.3.1 beta.

According to Apple Insider, the addition of third-party watch face support would allow third-party developers to come up with customizable watch faces for Apple Watch devices — something that many users have been asking for since the Apple Watch series started in 2015.

Since the third-party watch face support is still in beta testing, many believe that Apple could be unveiling the feature as part of the next-generation watchOS 5 software update at the upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference in June. Apple has yet to confirm anything at this point though.

The discovery of the third-party watch face support was made by 9To5Mac, who stumbled upon a curious log message in the first watchOS 4.3.1 beta, which was issued to developers earlier this month. The log message hints at a possible third-party integration with Apple’s NanoTimeKit, which is responsible for several aspects of the operating system that are typically inaccessible to developers such as watch face configurations.

The latest beta release of watchOS 4.3.1 features a NanoTimeKit developer tools server that handles watch face customizations. The server is still inactive at its current state, but its presence alone in the new beta is a clear sign that Apple could be opening the server that communicates with Xcode in a future watchOS update.

It’s also important to note that the watchOS 4.3.1 beta’s log message straightforwardly mentions third-party watch face configurations. “This is where the 3rd party face config bundle generation would happen,” the log message reads.

Since the launch of the first-generation Apple Watch, the Cupertino giant has never given developers a means to come up with their own watch faces for the smartwatch. The company simply came up with new built-in watch face options for every watchOS version. This year though, things could change especially when watchOS 5 is introduced at WWDC 2018.