An app is one of the primary surfaces on Wear OS. Apps are different from complications or Tiles, which are glanceable representations of app content. Apps display more information and support richer interactivity. The user often enters an app from another surface, such as a notification, complication, Tile, or voice action.
Keep the following principles in mind when designing apps.
Focus on critical tasks to help people get things done within seconds.
Shallow and linear
Avoid creating hierarchies deeper than two levels. Aim to display content and navigation inline when possible.
Apps can scroll. This is a natural gesture for users to see more content on the watch.
Follow these guidelines when designing apps.
Optimize for vertical layouts
Simplify your app’s design by using vertical layouts, which allow users to scroll in a single direction to move through content.
Show the time
Users tend to spend more time in apps, so it’s important to provide quick access to the time.
For more information about design and usage, see Time text.
Accessible inline entry points
Ensure all actions are displayed inline, using clear iconography and labels for accessibility. This includes entry points to settings and preferences.
Elevate primary actions
Make it easy for users to take action in your app by pulling primary actions to the top of the app.
Use labels to orient users
For longer apps, help orient the user with labels as they scroll through the content.
Show the scrollbar
For more information, see Position indicator.
See the following examples of content containers.