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Home / Tips and Tricks / The new photo from Apple Watch puts a portrait on your wrist. How it works in WatchOS 8

The new photo from Apple Watch puts a portrait on your wrist. How it works in WatchOS 8


Your Apple Watch will get a new watch face later this year. This is what you need to know


This story is part of WWDC 2021

. All the latest from Apple’s annual developer conference.

according to Apple, the most popular watch face on the Apple Watch is also the most personal: the Face Photos, which allows you to select favorite photos that your watch will rotate through every time you lift your wrist and wake the watch. Among the most notable new features that Apple has unveiled: WatchOS 8 is a new Portraits watch face that will be released later this fall.

Every time you take a photo with portrait mode on your iPhone camera, it records a lot of information, including the depth of the photo. For example, your phone can add a blurry background around the person in the photo. Portrait view uses the same information to add a 3D-like look to your watch face. You can even place the clock in front of or behind the person and when you turn the Digital Crown on your watch, the image seems to come to life by zooming in and out.

WatchOS 8 is currently available to developers, but there will be a public beta in July that allows anyone with a compatible Apple to test the unreleased software, in addition to iOS 15 and iPad 15.

Here’s what we know so far about the new Portrait watch face.

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Apple Watch gets portrait function


Portrait mode photos start with your iPhone

To set a new watch face in portrait mode, start with a photo you took in portrait mode with your iPhone camera. You can view all the portrait mode photos you’ve taken by opening the Photos app on your iPhone and Albums tab.

Scroll down until you see media types, then select Portrait. Any photos you have saved in that album can be used with the watch face. If you don’t have any portrait photos, it’s time to get some. Not only will you be able to create a completely personalized watch face, but you will also take some great photos.

Creating your portrait watch face should be easy

Almost the entire process of creating the watch face is done on your iPhone in the Watch app. Well, technically you can create a watch face on the Apple Watch right away, but it can be difficult to get it just right on that small screen.


You can see that there are many different clock fonts and positions that allow you to arrange the photo with them.


I expect Apple will add the portrait watch face to the app with the release of iOS 15, and will follow the same process that creating a photo watch face now uses. This means you open the Watch app, go to the Face Gallery, select the portrait face, then you can view, select and edit the portrait photo you want to use on your watch face.

Apple did say during the announcement that you can control where the photo overlaps the clock, giving you even more customization options — and making sure the clock doesn’t end up cutting someone’s head.

What we don’t know yet

Since the watch face isn’t available yet, there are still some things we don’t know. The biggest question I still have is how many photos can I add to the face to cycle through it? Or is it just one photo per watch face?

We’ll definitely have more answers when the public beta releases in July.

The Apple Watch isn’t the only Apple device to get new software. The iPhone becomes iOS 15, while the lineup of Apple’s tablet becomes iPad 15. For its part, the Mac macOS Monterey. Each of them has many fun, new features that you’ll want to try out.

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