With watchOS 4, Apple is offering an alternative to the honeycomb screen used to display your Apple Watch apps. The honeycomb view lays out the circular watch app icons in a hexagonal grid with a focus on the middle of the display, and a miniature clock in the center.
The honeycomb design is not universally beloved, but it has been the only option for Apple Watch users to date. With watchOS 4, Apple is adding list mode which sorts apps into an alphabetical scrolling view. Here’s how to enable it …
watchOS 4 has many improvements to core functionality including new Siri, Kaleidoscope and Toy Story watch face options, motivational Activity progress alerts, redesigned Workout and Music app, integration with gym equipment and more.
There are also minor enhancements across watchOS 4. List mode app screen is one such change for people that can’t stand the fluid honeycomb layout and prefer something a bit more ordered.
From your watch face, press the home button once to open the app screen. Then, press firmly on the display to open the new contextual Force Touch overlay.
This view offers a toggle between the two modes for app screen, grid view or list view. ‘Grid view’ is what Apple calls the honeycomb arrangement.
Press the List View icon to switch to the new mode. The app screen transforms into a plain list of all your Apple Watch apps in alphabetical order. Each row shows the app icon and its name, something that is generally not visible when in the Watch interface.
You can use the digital crown to scroll up and down the list; rows at the top and bottom of the screen scale down to prioritize apps in the center. Tap on a row to launch the respective app. It is not possible to rearrange apps in the list — they always go from A-Z.
When you return to the app screen, list view is preserved. If you want to change back to the (far prettier) honeycomb layout, Force Touch on the list and select Grid View.
Although it’s always nice to have the option, I personally will not be using the List View that much. It’s limiting that the apps cannot be re-arranged into a preferred ordering as my most used apps are not those that start with A, B, C. Moreover, the honeycomb shows more apps at once on the screen and it simply looks better aesthetically.
Do you prefer the List View? Are you grateful Apple added it to watchOS 4? Let us know in the comments.