Everything to know about the new, rich Apple Watch complications on Series 4

Apple’s new watch brings a pair of faces specifically designed for the new complication families. Learn about the engaging, full-color complication on Series 4 and how they take full advantage of the new, rounder, fifteen percent larger display.

Apple Watch complications on Series 4: the hero image

Complications—small elements rendered on the Apple Watch face that provide quick access to frequently-used data—have received a boost on Series 4: all-new templates now let brand new elements, such as full-color images, text and gauges, follow curvature of the display.

Complications are a great way to connect users to their favorite apps with every wrist raise and keep them informed throughout their day. Tapping a complication launches its underlying app.

Complications are available for Apple’s own and third-party apps.

Apple Watch complications on Series 4: another example image

Complications put glanceable information snippets on the watch face

In an app called Dexcom, the complication allows for continuous glucose monitoring. Another example: the Streaks complication shows daily progress on tasks on the watch face.

With Series 4, Apple’s added improvements to its underlying APIs to let app makers create full-color complications for the new Infograph and the Infograph Modular faces on Series 4.

These dense new Series 4 complications are informative and way more precise. With support for the larger Series 4 screen, new templates let third-party makers offer a more detailed view of their apps from the watch face.

ClockKit gets a major boost

Apple Watch complications are realized through ClockKit.

ClockKit is a software framework in watchOS 2.0 and higher designed to support displaying apps data on your watch face. In watchmaking, these things are called complications.

ClockKit now supports enriched Series 4 complications so app makers can write compilations that take full advantage of the rounded display.

Apple Watch complications on Series 4 are much richer and denser

The new Series 4 complications work on the Infograph and Infograph Modular faces

ClockKit includes templates for laying out complication styles on the watch face that support custom arrangements of text, images, completion rings and other elements. Coupled with data providers, these templates let complications visualize formatted content on a small segment of the watch face.

In other words, data providers bring the data to the complication to display on the watch face while templates format the data appropriately for the different watch face designs.

Modular faces

As mentioned, the new and enhanced complication families available on Series 4 are only available through either the Infograph or the Infograph Modular face. Other watch faces can display old school complication styles, but not new ones like curly gauges.

Apple Watch complications on Series 4 include curly template allowing them to fit the rounded corners of the OLED display

Rounded complications are exclusive to Series 4 watches

In addition to the seven existing complication types—Modular Small, Modular Large, Utilitarian Small, Utilitarian Small Flat, Utilitarian Large, Circular Small and Extra Large—Series 4 adds four new families that determine how information is displayed onscreen:

  • Graphic Corner
  • Graphic Circular
  • Graphic Bezel
  • Graphic Rectangular

thanks to the updated system-provided templates on Series 4, these new complications now support features like extending into the corners of the display, presenting information in full color, using images in the middle of the watch face and so forth. Conveniently, ClockKit has gained a few new data providers that support the new complication families with modern new elements like gauges, images and so forth.

Colorful gauges

Gauges are progress bars used for illustrating progress completed or a value within a range. A time-interval gauge, such as that in the Timer complication, would automatically animate the values as they change.

Gauges can be single-color or use a custom gradient.

Apple Watch complications on Series 4 include many colorful gauges

The system uses your values and ranges to render the gradients

Either way, color can be set to fill the gauge as the data progresses. If the data is a range, it uses a ring to indicate the value. This is useful for illustrating progress on complications focused on weather, fitness, health and more.

Full-color images & text

Series 4 complications can also display full-color images on the watch face, which ups the visuals a few notches. On older models, complications were limited to monochrome images.

And with text providers, complications can display several text-based elements, including the current date and time, as well as time ranges and automatic count-downs/ups between two dates/times. Multiple text providers can be chained together easily, and each can have its own tint color.

Apple Watch complications on Series 4 can use differently-tinted text for visual or even branding purposes

Text data can be formatted with color

This is useful for creating differently-colored strings that a complication might want to use for branding purposes (i.e. to display the precise numerical values of your Activity rings).

Putting it all to work

It’s time we illustrate some of the creative possibilities afforded by the new system templates.

Graphic Corner

Available on the Infograph face, this one curves along the corners of the display, allowing for way more content while making stunning use of the rounded Series 4 display.

Apple Watch complications on Series 4 include rounded gauges accompanied by text or images

New Series 4 complications account for the round display corners

Graphic Circular

Available on both the Infograph and Infograph Modular watch faces, this template gives a complication the ability to combine gauges and text. It typically shows gauges at the bottom of the display, with handy values at the end of the range included in the gauge.

Apple Watch complications on Series 4 support circular gauges, open or closed, at the bottom of the watch face

Open gauges can have text, values or images at their bottom

As the image right below attest, a closed gauge is also possible. These gauges can use full-color images or text in the middle, or even an image across the entire complication area.

Apple Watch complications on Series 4 even support displaying a full-color image across the entire complication area

Closed gauges can be styled with text, images and so forth

Graphic Bezel

Available only on the Infograph watch face, this template does something clever: it wraps a custom UPPERCASE text within the time bezel. Seeing text information like weather forecast curved along the time bezel looks really neat, as evidenced by the screenshot.

Apple Watch complications on Series 4 permit the text to flow along the time bezel

Complication text can fill 180 degrees of the time bezel before it’s truncated

Graphic Rectangular

Lastly, the Graphic Rectangular template allows you to use highly visual, full-color images in the center of the watch face. These can be used for anything from displaying bio images of the user’s favorite contacts to showing a more detailed heart rate graph and beyond.

Apple Watch complications on Series 4 support displaying images in the center of the watch face

The main image can be coupled with gauges and text for added effect.

Apple Watch complications on Series 4 can also display rich text information in place of an image at the center of the watch face

This template is available exclusively on the Infograph Modular watch face.

Wrapping it all up

These new Series 4 complications available on the Infograph and Infograph Modular watch faces are updated with the same frequency as your old complications on previous watches, meaning 50 guaranteed push updates every 24 hours.

If the app containing a complication uses the Background App Refresh feature (managed through My Watch → General → Background App Refresh in the companion Watch app), or is in your recently-used list in the Dock, it can update the complication once every hour.

The only potential downside of the new complications on Series 4: the system templates that allow for image-heavy or curly layouts, like Graphic Circular or Graphic Rectangular, may tax the CPU and affect battery life.

Apple Watch complications on Series 4 : an example image showing circular contact images at 3, 6, 9 o'clock and midnight

As a result, and this is pure speculation on our part, stuffing your watch face with a bunch of curly complications in the corners might affect battery life.

And last but certainly not least—in appeasing visually-impaired users, Apple has permitted developers to boost their complications with VoiceOver. This is especially important if a complication only uses an image and no accompanying text that VoiceOver could read.

To learn more about how the new Infograph and Infograph Modular watch faces on Series 4 allow for all new ways to create engaging, full-color complications, be sure to watch Apple’s Tech Talks developer video, titled “Developing Complications for Apple Watch Series 4”.

Complicated?

We are very eager to hear your opinion.

These new complications with their assorted templates really do take the best advantage of that gorgeous OLED screen on Series 4, coming alive with color, curves and images.

To reiterate, only the new Infograph and Infograph Modular watch faces support the new complication families brought by Apple Watch Series 4. You cannot get them on older watches as they lack bigger screens to support Series 4’s much denser complications.

Tick-tock, hit us in comments!


"Everything to know about the new, rich Apple Watch complications on Series 4" is an article by iDownloadBlog.com.
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New iPhones can read NFC tags in the background, no app needed whatsoever

The new iPhones feature updated hardware for NFC which supports background tag reading. This permits the new phones to scan for and reads NFC tags without requiring users to launch an app for that beforehand.

The new iPhone Xs and Xs Max, as well as a colorful family of the new iPhone Xr handsets, include advancements in near-field communication (NFC) technology that allow the handsets to automatically read nearby NDEF (NFC Data Exchange Format) tags and send any collected assets to appropriate apps without needing to open any specific app beforehand.... Read the rest of this post here


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Starting March 2019, iPhone & Watch apps must support Xs Max and Series 4 hardware

Starting March 2019, all new iPhone and universal iOS apps and their updates must be built with the iOS 12 SDK and support the new iPhone XS Max, Apple’s highest-resolution iPhone yet. All new watch apps and updates will need to be built with the watchOS 5 SDK and support the new Apple Watch Series 4.

To increase support for the latest screen sizes and technologies, Apple will soon stop accepting iPhone apps that don’t take full advantage the native display resolution of iPhone Xs Max. Likewise, Apple Watch apps must support the new Apple Watch Series 4 hardware.... Read the rest of this post here


"Starting March 2019, iPhone & Watch apps must support Xs Max and Series 4 hardware" is an article by iDownloadBlog.com.
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New Developer Insights video pushes devs to adopt auto-renewable subscriptions

Auto-renewable subscriptions bring value throughout the entire subscription lifecycle while helping developers earn predictable revenue to fund app development.

Eager to continue growing its booming Services business, Apple would prefer its registered developers embrace an in-app subscription model and has created a little video highlighting the benefits of recurring payments within apps.... Read the rest of this post here


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Pushed update resolves Apple Watch signing issue for some apps

On Monday, Apple alerted some developers of a signing issue that’s preventing some Apple Watch apps from working properly. The issue is being resolved.

On Monday, Apple alerted some developers of a signing issue that’s preventing some Apple Watch apps from working correctly. The problem was first reported by MacRumors.

... Read the rest of this post here


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TomTom launches a free mobile maps SDK for developers

TomTom, the mapping and navigation company you probably still remember from its heyday as a leader in the stand-alone in-car GPS space, is launching a free mobile maps SDK for developers at TechCrunch Disrupt today. This move is part of the company’s overall transformation from a consumer device manufacturer to a software company. The new […]

TomTom, the mapping and navigation company you probably still remember from its heyday as a leader in the stand-alone in-car GPS space, is launching a free mobile maps SDK for developers at TechCrunch Disrupt today. This move is part of the company’s overall transformation from a consumer device manufacturer to a software company.

The new SDK will feature free maps and traffic tiles for all Android and iOS users. As TomTom VP of business development and product marketing Leandro Margulis told me, free in this case really means free. While the SDK doesn’t offer routing and some other advanced features, there’s no limit to how developers use its mapping and traffic tiles.

“This is about putting the developer at the center of everything that we do,” Magulis told me. “If you look at any kind of partnership that you do, either big or small, at some point you tell and engineer or a developer to go and try the API. We want to make sure that everybody can see the beauty of what we can do.” He noted that other players in this space also give away a lot of different things, but that TomTom decided to give away what it does best — and to do so without any restrictions in terms of API calls. And developers won’t even have to give TomTom a credit card number to do so.

As Magulis also stressed, developers can mix and match geolocation services from multiple vendors without breaking any of TomTom’s rules.

In addition to the new SDK, TomTom is also making a number of other announcements today. STMicroelectronics, for example, is connecting its development tools directly to TomTom’s Maps API to help IoT companies locate their devices. RideOS, an autonomous driving startup, will use TomTom’s real-time and historical traffic data and maps for its platform while Zenly will use the company’s routing and parts of its search APIs to power its social maps.

“People may say, ‘TomTom, are you guys still around?’ But yeah, we’re thriving,” Margulis said. “And we’re not your dad’s TomTom, we’re not you mom’s TomTom. We’re your TomTom. We are a technology company, we are location experts and we are here to enable the next generation of location-based use cases.”

 

 

Apple’s new iOS 12 beta fixes the annoying ‘please update’ bug

iOS 12 beta testers have been plagued with a frustrating bug that continually pops up messages alerting them that a new iOS update is available when, in fact, it’s not. Apple has now fixed this bug, which is patched in the latest iOS 12 betas rolling out now, we understand. The bug first made headlines […]

iOS 12 beta testers have been plagued with a frustrating bug that continually pops up messages alerting them that a new iOS update is available when, in fact, it’s not. Apple has now fixed this bug, which is patched in the latest iOS 12 betas rolling out now, we understand.

The bug first made headlines on Thursday, when a number of iOS 12 beta testers – including developers and those on the public beta program – began to complain on social media about the problem. All users were seeing a pop-up message that read, “A new iOS version is now available. Please update from the iOS 12 beta.”  

Users could close this window with a tap, but the same pop-up would reappear at regular intervals. There was nothing to be done about it, because the message itself was wrong – there was no new beta available for download at the time.

While it’s true that beta versions of software can have glitches and bugs, the iOS 12 beta has been, arguably, one of the most stable to date. For many people, the bug was one of the first times they had a serious issue with running the beta software.

Some had figured out yesterday that you could adjust the system date and time to turn off the non-stop notifications, but this was bad advice. Messing around with the system clock can introduce a host of other issues, like missing calendar appointments or reminders, for example.

Apple was aware of the issue, and has thankfully introduced a fix before the long holiday weekend here in the U.S.

The fix is available in both the new developer beta and the public beta, out now.

Wish, Netflix, Uber and ~100 others testing WhatsApp’s new Business API

Earlier this month, WhatsApp announced the launch of its first revenue-generating enterprise product, the WhatsApp Business API. The API allows businesses to respond to messages from WhatsApp users for free up to 24 hours, then charges for any responses after that point on a per message basis. Though still in a limited preview, the company […]

Earlier this month, WhatsApp announced the launch of its first revenue-generating enterprise product, the WhatsApp Business API. The API allows businesses to respond to messages from WhatsApp users for free up to 24 hours, then charges for any responses after that point on a per message basis. Though still in a limited preview, the company is now supporting around 100 businesses directly on its API platform, including airlines, e-commerce companies, banks, and others like Uber and Netflix, and plans to onboard many more in the months ahead.

Because businesses have to first apply to gain access the API, there’s some misinformation floating around on backchannels about how to get approved.

For example, some industry sources have been telling partners that no U.S.-based businesses are being onboarded to the API at this point. This is untrue, WhatsApp says. In fact, there’s a public site where U.S. companies Uber and Wish are featured as “customer stories.” We also understand that U.S.-based Netflix is testing the API, though not for use in the U.S. for the time being.

Others listed on WhatsApp’s website include Booking.com, MakeMyTrip, B2W, iFood, Singapore Airlines, Melia Hotels, KLM, Bank BRI, absa, Coppel, and Sale Stock.

WhatsApp isn’t limiting access to the API based on where companies are located, it says, nor does it have requirements for those businesses  – like how many messages they need to send per month.

The latter is another piece of misinformation out there, as businesses try to decipher who’s getting in. Some have been saying that API customers need to send at least 100,000 messages a month, if they expect WhatsApp to approve them during this preview phase. This is inaccurate, WhatsApp says.

There’s no requirement related to the number of messages being sent. Although the API is intended to be used by larger businesses, some today are using it for customer service which often means they’re receiving more messages than they’re sending, the company noted.

The API is now how WhatsApp generates revenue, as it ditched its subscription fee years ago. That’s why it’s worth tracking its progress. Businesses can also buy Facebook News Feed ads that launch customers into WhatsApp conversations they can respond to.

WhatsApp officially launched its Business app at the beginning of the year, which makes sense for smaller companies, and then rolled out the API this summer for the larger ones.

Bringing businesses into the WhatsApp ecosystem is a significant shift for the Facebook-owned company, as it turns what’s been a place where family and friends communicate into a place of business.

With that delicate balance in mind, WhatsApp says that businesses cannot reach out to customers using the API without the customers’ specific permission.

Instead, the API is designed to allow businesses to respond to customer inquiries, or provide them with other information they’ve requested. For example, an airline may send a boarding pass via the API; an e-commerce business may send a receipt; a bank may send over a bank statement.

Uber is using WhatsApp with its drivers to all them to connect to members of its team about questions and Netflix is sending account messages and suggestions as a part of its test.

Further down the road, the API could enable other types of customer interactions as well, like handling two-factor authentication requests, perhaps, instead of using SMS. But that’s not happening at present.

WhatsApp says there are now around 100 companies globally on the API platform.

The company is also working with a dozen or so solution providers. Businesses like VoiceSageNexmoInfobip, Twilio, MessageBird, Smooch, Zendesk, and others are already advertising their services in this area.

Companies interested in gaining access to the API can work with one of the solution providers or sign up directly via the WhatsApp website.

As WhatsApp brings on more businesses, it’s only vetting requirement of sorts is that it’s looking for those interested in creating quality experiences for customers, the company says.

Of course, even the invited intrusion of businesses into WhatsApp changes the nature of the platform.

As users invite more businesses to communicate with them, WhatsApp may start to feel like more like an email inbox or even a Twitter-like support channel.

Making sure there are easy-to-find settings that let users terminate their connections with businesses will be just as critical as the API becomes more widely adopted going forward.

 

Wish, Netflix, Uber and ~100 others testing WhatsApp’s new Business API

Earlier this month, WhatsApp announced the launch of its first revenue-generating enterprise product, the WhatsApp Business API. The API allows businesses to respond to messages from WhatsApp users for free up to 24 hours, then charges for any responses after that point on a per message basis. Though still in a limited preview, the company […]

Earlier this month, WhatsApp announced the launch of its first revenue-generating enterprise product, the WhatsApp Business API. The API allows businesses to respond to messages from WhatsApp users for free up to 24 hours, then charges for any responses after that point on a per message basis. Though still in a limited preview, the company is now supporting around 100 businesses directly on its API platform, including airlines, e-commerce companies, banks, and others like Uber and Netflix, and plans to onboard many more in the months ahead.

Because businesses have to first apply to gain access the API, there’s some misinformation floating around on backchannels about how to get approved.

For example, some industry sources have been telling partners that no U.S.-based businesses are being onboarded to the API at this point. This is untrue, WhatsApp says. In fact, there’s a public site where U.S. companies Uber and Wish are featured as “customer stories.” We also understand that U.S.-based Netflix is testing the API, though not for use in the U.S. for the time being.

Others listed on WhatsApp’s website include Booking.com, MakeMyTrip, B2W, iFood, Singapore Airlines, Melia Hotels, KLM, Bank BRI, absa, Coppel, and Sale Stock.

WhatsApp isn’t limiting access to the API based on where companies are located, it says, nor does it have requirements for those businesses  – like how many messages they need to send per month.

The latter is another piece of misinformation out there, as businesses try to decipher who’s getting in. Some have been saying that API customers need to send at least 100,000 messages a month, if they expect WhatsApp to approve them during this preview phase. This is inaccurate, WhatsApp says.

There’s no requirement related to the number of messages being sent. Although the API is intended to be used by larger businesses, some today are using it for customer service which often means they’re receiving more messages than they’re sending, the company noted.

The API is now how WhatsApp generates revenue, as it ditched its subscription fee years ago. That’s why it’s worth tracking its progress. Businesses can also buy Facebook News Feed ads that launch customers into WhatsApp conversations they can respond to.

WhatsApp officially launched its Business app at the beginning of the year, which makes sense for smaller companies, and then rolled out the API this summer for the larger ones.

Bringing businesses into the WhatsApp ecosystem is a significant shift for the Facebook-owned company, as it turns what’s been a place where family and friends communicate into a place of business.

With that delicate balance in mind, WhatsApp says that businesses cannot reach out to customers using the API without the customers’ specific permission.

Instead, the API is designed to allow businesses to respond to customer inquiries, or provide them with other information they’ve requested. For example, an airline may send a boarding pass via the API; an e-commerce business may send a receipt; a bank may send over a bank statement.

Uber is using WhatsApp with its drivers to all them to connect to members of its team about questions and Netflix is sending account messages and suggestions as a part of its test.

Further down the road, the API could enable other types of customer interactions as well, like handling two-factor authentication requests, perhaps, instead of using SMS. But that’s not happening at present.

WhatsApp says there are now around 100 companies globally on the API platform.

The company is also working with a dozen or so solution providers. Businesses like VoiceSageNexmoInfobip, Twilio, MessageBird, Smooch, Zendesk, and others are already advertising their services in this area.

Companies interested in gaining access to the API can work with one of the solution providers or sign up directly via the WhatsApp website.

As WhatsApp brings on more businesses, it’s only vetting requirement of sorts is that it’s looking for those interested in creating quality experiences for customers, the company says.

Of course, even the invited intrusion of businesses into WhatsApp changes the nature of the platform.

As users invite more businesses to communicate with them, WhatsApp may start to feel like more like an email inbox or even a Twitter-like support channel.

Making sure there are easy-to-find settings that let users terminate their connections with businesses will be just as critical as the API becomes more widely adopted going forward.

 

All App Store apps must have a privacy policy beginning October 3

User privacy continues to be a major topic for Apple, with the tech giant requiring that iPhone and iPad developers include a privacy link in the App Store Connect metadata field beginning next month.

Beginning Wednesday, October 3, all new App Store submissions are required to have a privacy policy, according to yesterday’s change to the section 5.1.1 Data Collection and Storage of Apple’s official App Store Review Guidelines.... Read the rest of this post here


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