When Apple previewed watchOS 8 at WWDC 2021, the Portraits watch face immediately caught my eye. Since I have a penchant for trying out a variety of watch faces, I was curious to see how the new Portraits watch face performs on my Apple Watch. Unfortunately, Apple did not introduce it in watchOS 8 beta 1. Now with the release of watchOS 8 beta 2, the Cupertino giant has added this much awaited feature that allows users to set portraits as watch face on Apple Watch. If you want to try this exciting new feature, let me help you set a Portraits watch face in watchOS 8 on Apple Watch.

Configure Watch Face Portraits in watchOS 8 on Apple Watch (2021)

First, let’s understand what makes the Portraits watch face so exciting! And why is every Apple Watch user going gaga over this feature? Next, we will look at the steps to enable the Portraits watch face feature on Apple Watch.

What is Watch Face Portraits and how does it work on Apple Watch?

The Portraits watch face is designed to let you view and interact with photos in a whole new way on Apple Watch. What makes it so fascinating is the ability to animate portrait image with multi-layer effect. Notably, it intelligently recognizes faces in photos and crops them to highlight the subject. Thus, the watch face appears pleasing to the eyes.

After you set up the Portraits watch face on your Apple Watch, a new photo appears every time you raise your wrist or tap the screen. Interestingly, there’s also a way to zoom in/out on the portrait for those times when you might want to go into detail. It’s a good way to take a look at memorable photos and also personalize your smartwatch.

What type of customization does the Portraits watch face offer?

Just like the standard Photos watch face, Portraits also lets you select up to 24 portrait images. When it comes to customization, there are three types of clock styles to choose from: classic, modern, and rounded (more on that later). Also, you can choose to show the date and choose any other complication for this watch face.

Unlike the Photos watch face, Portraits don’t allow you to fine-tune colors. While this might not be a big deal for many, I would certainly have appreciated having the ability to change the colors as well. Since watchOS 8 is still in development, a lot could change between now and Apple’s rollout of the operating system this fall.

Use Watch Face Portraits in watchOS 8 on Apple Watch

To note: I tried the Portraits watch face feature on Apple Watch SE running watchOS 8 beta 2, and it worked perfectly. The latest watchOS update is also supported by Apple Watch 3 and later.

  1. Start the Watch app on your iPhone, paired with the Apple Watch.

2. Now go to the Face Gallery in the bottom navigation bar.

3. Next, scroll down and choose the Portraits watch face option.

4. Next, press the “ Choose pictures…” in the Content section, then select up to 24 portrait images. The best way to do this is to create an album of all your portraits, then select the images you want from the album.

5. Next, select portrait images and then tap “ To add in the upper right corner of the screen. You can then pan around the image to adjust the crop and see how it would look on your Apple Watch screen.

6. Then you can choose from three different clock styles:

  • Classic: Choose this to give the clock a retro look.
  • Modern: Gives a more refined look to the clock.
  • Round : Select it if you prefer a rounded design.

For this demo, I choose the Modern option because it looks clean and better to me.

7. Then you can select complications. The date appears in the middle of the dial of the Portraits watch. At the bottom, you can choose to show other complications like the phase of the moon, your schedule, your activity, etc.

6. At the end, make sure to press ” To addto complete the Portraits watch face setup in watchOS 8.

If your Apple Watch is remote, it will automatically display the new Portraits watch face. From now on, every time you raise your wrist or tap the screen, a whole new portrait image will appear (if you upload more than one) on the smartwatch.

Zoom in or out Watch Face Portraits on Apple Watch

Probably the best part of the Portraits watch face is the ability to zoom in or out on the portrait image. You can use the digital crown to zoom in or out on the portrait. Take a look at the GIF below to find out how it works.

Get the most out of Watch Face Portraits on Apple Watch

It is more or less that ! This is how you can enable and use the Portraits watch face on your Apple Watch. Now that you know how this cool feature works, you can make the most of it to brighten up the watch face in watchOS 8. While watchOS 8 might not be a huge upgrade, it has some notable features, including the ability to measure respiratory rate. , an improved Home app and a smarter Breathe app. So, share your thoughts on the latest version of watchOS and whether or not Portraits won you over.