Modality

watchOS supports modal interactions through modal sheets, alerts, and action sheets. When any of these modal views appears, it takes over the entire screen, covering the previous view until people complete the modal task or dismiss the interaction.

In the streamlined, glanceable environment of Apple Watch, modal interactions are great for delivering timely, critical information and helping people make simple, straightforward choices. Here are several ways a modal interface can enhance the user experience.

Screenshot of an action sheet that displays a small headphone glyph followed by text that reads To play audio, connect Bluetooth headphones to your Apple Watch. A Cancel button is in the top-left corner of the screen and below the text is a button titled Connect a Device.

Bring attention to key information. For example, when the system can't locate a device on which to play audio, it uses an action sheet to let people choose from a list of recently used devices.

Screenshot of a modal view that displays a song title and artist followed by three buttons. The song title is Spring in Berkeley and the artist is The LeMoine Quintet. From the top, the button titles are Remove, Love, and Suggest Less.

Streamline interactions. For example, Music makes it easy for people to rate items in their music library by listing three mutually exclusive options in a nonscrolling modal view.

Screenshot of an alert that displays the following text: Delete Song. Are you sure you want to delete this song from your iCloud Music Library? This will delete it from all your devices. Below the text are two buttons. The first button uses red text to display the title Delete and the second button uses white text to display the title Cancel.

Confirm intent (expected for destructive actions). For example, when people initiate the deletion of a song, Music displays an alert that lets them confirm their intent to delete the song or cancel the action.

Screenshot of an app that displays a modal view describing the benefits of a subscription. Below the description are two blue buttons. The first button is titled $4.99 per month and the second is titled $29.99 per year. Text below the second button says Save fifty percent, twelve months at @2.49 per month. The screenshot ends below the first of several additional buttons, which is titled Restore Purchases.

Present purchase options. For example, a subscriptions app can help people compare options and make choices by using a modal view to present all the actions and information required in a purchase flow. (Note that the partial subscription screen above shows only a subset of required elements; for guidance, see Making Signup Effortless.)