Health and Fitness

Health and fitness apps can use workout sessions to remain in the foreground during an active workout and while monitoring the user’s health, such as during sleep or while using a heart rate monitor. As time passes between wrist raises, Apple Watch normally reverts to displaying the watch face, but when your app has an active workout session it displays your app instead.

Provide obvious controls for starting and stopping sessions. The control for stopping should always be available at the top level of your app. Your app should provide clear feedback to indicate when a session starts or stops.

Make sure session controls are easily accessible. Avoid using a menu as the sole means for accessing any control.

Use a distinct layout or appearance to indicate an active session. During wrist raises, your app's appearance should signal to the user that a session is active.

Help people understand the health information your app records when sensor data is unavailable. For example, water may prevent a heart-rate measurement, but your app can still record data such as the distance users swam and the number of calories they burned. If your app supports the swimming or other workout types, explain the situation using language that’s similar to the language used in the system-provided Workout app.

Example text from the Workout app
Green check in a circle to indicate correct usage. GPS is not used during a Pool Swim, and water may prevent a heart-rate measurement, but Apple Watch will still track your calories, laps, and distance using the built-in accelerometer.
Green check in a circle to indicate correct usage. In this type of workout, you earn the calorie equivalent of a brisk walk anytime sensor readings are unavailable.
Green check in a circle to indicate correct usage. GPS will only provide distance when you do a freestyle stroke. Water might prevent a heart-rate measurement, but calories will still be tracked using the built-in accelerometer.

Provide confirmation at the end of a session. Let the user know what information the session recorded.

Make sure text is legible when the user is in motion. When a session requires movement, your app should use large font sizes and arrange text so that the most important information is obvious.

For developer guidance, see HKWorkoutSession.

Activity Rings

Apps can enhance their health and wellness offerings by displaying an Activity ring element that shows an individual’s progress toward Move, Exercise, and Stand goals. This element always contains three rings, whose colors and meanings match those provided by the Activity app.

Image of a challenge in the Activity app with partially completed rings for the Apple Watch owner and a friend.

Use Activity rings for Move, Exercise, and Stand information only. Activity rings are designed to consistently represent progress in these specific areas. Don’t attempt to replicate or modify Activity rings for other purposes. Never use Activity rings to display other types of data. Never show Move, Exercise, and Stand progress in another ring-like element.

Use Activity rings to show progress for a single person. Never use Activity rings to represent data for more than one person, and make sure it’s obvious whose progress is shown, such as by using a label, a photo, or an avatar.

Don’t use Activity rings for ornamentation. Activity rings should provide information to people, not embellish your app’s design. Never display Activity rings in labels or background graphics.

Don’t use Activity rings for branding. Use Activity rings strictly to display Activity progress in your app. Never use Activity rings in your app’s icon or marketing materials.

Maintain Activity ring and background colors. For a consistent user experience, the visual appearance of Activity rings must always be the same, regardless of the context in which they appear. Never change the look of the rings or background by using filters, changing colors, or modifying opacity. Instead, design the surrounding interface to blend with the rings. For example, enclose the rings within a circle. Always scale the rings appropriately so they don’t seem disconnected or out of place.

Maintain Activity ring margins. An Activity ring element must include a minimum outer margin of no less than the distance between rings. Never allow other elements to crop, obstruct, or encroach upon this margin or the rings themselves. To display an Activity ring element within a circle, adjust the corner radius of the enclosing view rather than applying a circular mask.

Differentiate other ring-like elements from Activity rings. Mixing different ring styles can lead to a visually confusing interface. If you must include other rings, use padding, lines, or labels to separate them from Activity rings. Color and scale can also help provide visual separation.

Provide app-specific information only in Activity notifications. The system already delivers Move, Exercise, and Stand progress updates. Don’t repeat this same information, and never show an Activity ring element in your app’s notifications. It’s fine to reference Activity progress in a notification, but do so in a way that’s unique to your app and doesn’t replicate the same information provided by the system.

For developer guidance, see WKInterfaceActivityRing.