Keep in mind the following best practices when designing sign-in experiences.

Prompt users at the right time

Don’t force users to sign in unless it is necessary. Wear OS apps shouldn't require authentication for all functionality. Provide as many features as possible without requiring sign-in.

Explain sign-in benefits

If a user needs to sign in, provide a reason using surrounding context and explaining the benefits. Don’t assume the user understands why sign-in is beneficial.

Provide context by asking for sign-in after the user initiates an action.
Display sign-in without explaining why sign-in is beneficial.

Simplify decision-making

Group sign-in methods into the smallest number of options and highlight the simplest methods.

Highlight the most convenient sign-in option and group other options.
Give the user many different options that have the same result.

Provide alternatives

Offer two different sign-in methods, or the option to skip sign-in, in case sign-in fails. Apps without alternate sign-in methods can result in a difficult user experience. For example, an app that offers sign in on phone only can cause difficulties if the user's phone is not nearby.

Offer backup options to sign in.
Offer only one sign in method.


Streamline the process by reducing the number of steps needed to sign in and eliminate redundancy.

Keep users signed in for as long as possible within your privacy and security requirements.

Get credentials through the data layer

If the user is signed into the corresponding phone app, use those credentials to automatically sign them into your watch app.

Automatically sign in users into the watch when they enter their credentials on the phone.

status and confirmations

The first time a user signs in, display a message that explains the process of signing in or confirms a successful sign-in. Suppress the message that explains sign-in process after the first time the app is opened.

Use a signing-in process state until the process is complete.
Show a confirmation if a user is automatically signed in.

Phone unavailable

If a phone is not nearby, show another way to sign in or to continue to the next step.

Communicate when the phone is not available and provide alternate actions.