Complications

Complications display timely and relevant information about your app on the watch face. Some watch faces do not display any complications, but most display at least a few. Complications are divided into families, which determine how information is presented onscreen.

Your app provides the data for a complication in the form of a timeline. The system uses this timeline to determine which data to display based on the current time of day. Timelines are also used for Time Travel, which works with complications to let users see what’s happening — and what’s already happened — yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Apps can update their timelines a limited number of times each day, and the system stores a limited number of timeline entries for each app.

Complications are drawn using templates that define the layout and appearance of the data from the timeline, and each complication family offers a variety of templates from which you can choose.

Support as many complication families as possible. Supporting all of the families ensures that your complication is available on all watch faces that display complications. For families you do not support, the system displays your app name or icon instead.

Display data that is useful and relevant. Watch faces have only a small number of slots available for complications. If your complication does not provide useful data, the user will likely not install it. The most interesting and useful complications are ones whose data changes throughout the day.

Decide what data to display, and when to display it. Each timeline entry has a time value that represents the time at which to display your data on the watch face, and different data sets might require different time values. For example, a meeting app might display information about an upcoming meeting before the meeting starts, but a weather app might display forecast information at the time when those conditions are expected to occur. Choose times that enhance the usefulness of the data.

Size images to match the specific template. The images you use in complication templates must be sized appropriately for that template. For a list of image sizes for each template, see Complication Images.

Provide complication bundles with realistic data. Users configure complications using the Apple Watch app on iOS, which uses complication bundles to display representative versions of your app’s complication. You supply the complication bundles for your app. When creating the bundles, use realistic placeholder data to convey how your complication will look when displayed on the watch face.

Always provide no-content images for your complication. The system displays a no-content image when the data for a complication is not available. For information about the size of no-content images, see Complication Images.

Choose a ring style that matches your data. Use the closed style to convey a value that is a percentage of a whole, such as a battery gauge. Use the open ring style when the minimum and maximum values are more arbitrary or do not represent a percentage of the whole, such as a speed indicator.

Circular

These templates display a small image or a few characters of text in the corners of the Color watch face.

  • Ring Image
  • Ring Text
  • Simple Image
  • Simple Text
  • Stack Image
  • Stack Text

Modular Small

These templates display two stacked rows of content, an icon and content, a circular graph, or a single larger item on the Modular watch face.

  • Columns Text
  • Ring Image
  • Ring Text
  • Simple Image
  • Simple Text
  • Stack Image
  • Stack Text

Modular Large

These templates offer a large canvas for displaying up to three rows of content on the Modular watch face.

  • Columns
  • Standard Body
  • Table
  • Tall Body

Utility Small

These templates occupy a rectangular area in the top left and right corners of the Utility (also known as Utilitarian), Motion, Mickey Mouse, and Minnie Mouse watch faces. They occupy three corners of the Chronograph watch face and all four corners of the Simple watch face. The content can include a glyph or icon, or it can include a circular graph.

  • Flat
  • Ring Image
  • Ring Text
  • Square

Utility Large

This template is primarily text-based, but also supports a glyph or icon placed to the left of the text. This template spans the bottom of the Utility, Motion, Mickey Mouse, and Minnie Mouse watch faces.

  • Large Flat

Extra Large

These templates display text and images on the X-Large watch faces.

  • Ring Image
  • Ring Text
  • Simple Image
  • Simple Text
  • Stack Image
  • Stack Text