Apple has just posted its developer documentation video explaining how apps can use the new complication types for the larger Apple Watch Series 4 display. These new complications are available on the Infograph and Infograph Modular watch faces.
Both Apple and third party developers can take advantage of the new curved corner gauges, full color graphs and images in the middle of the Infograph modular watch, and the ability to show custom bezel text on nearly 180 degrees of the dial.
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Apple calls the curved progress bars ‘gauges’. These can be rainbow colored with a gradient, or automatically updating based on a time interval — used by timer apps. Range gauges uses a ring to indicate the current value.
The Infograph Modular face can display arbitrary images in the centre, beyond simple text and iconography. This allows apps to display rich graphs for example.
Graphic corner templates are flexible; they can use gauges with text or images, or set of differently-colored text, or a simple icon. It seems like these complications are only used on the Infograph faces for the time being. Other watch faces remain mostly unchanged from a design perspective.
Open gauges sit at the bottom of the Infograph modular face and present similar information to the corner styles with a different visual presentation.
The circular rings can sit at the bottom of the new modular face, or in the center area of the Infograph analogue face. These circular complications can be rings with progress values, or simple images.
Regarding the text that sits inline with the dial, third-party apps can influence this text — with system provided limits. The text will always be displayed at the top middle and can fill the upper half of the dial, with close to 180 degrees of text content possible. On the Infograph face, the dial text is controlled by the circular complication in the 12-o’clock position.
All in all, Apple has given much more flexibility to enable more colorful and information-dense complications.