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Apple Watch Screen Resolutions: 312 x 390 for 42mm Version, 272 x 340 for 38mm Version

With the WatchKit SDK now in the hands of developers, some new information about Apple's wearable device is coming out, including its display resolution, which was not previously disclosed by Apple.

According to Apple's human interface guidelines, the two separate Apple Watch models have different screen resolutions. The smaller 38mm Apple Watch has a resolution of 272 x 340, while the larger 42mm Apple Watch has a resolution of 312 x 390. In the WatchKit documentation, Apple refers to the Apple Watch display as "Retina," and instructs developers to use 2x image assets.

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Apple directs developers to provide image assets for different screen sizes "as needed." Developers can use the same image resources as long as they "look good on both screen sizes," but if not, developers will need to provide separate image resources for both devices. Content displayed on Apple Watch "should be the same regardless of the device's screen size," and Apple says developers should "let items expand or contract naturally" to fill available space.

Icons on the Apple Watch will have variable sizes based on screen size and type. For example, the Notification Center icon should be 29 pixels for the 38mm Apple Watch, and 36 pixels for the 42mm Apple Watch. A home screen icon on the smaller device should be 172 pixels, while a home screen icon for the larger Apple Watch should be 196 pixels.

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In addition to unveiling information on the device's resolution, Apple's WatchKit guidelines give some insight into how Apple views the device. Apple asks developers to be mindful of certain concepts when creating content for the Apple Watch, including its deep personalization and connection to people via heart rate and activity monitoring.

According to Apple, the Apple Watch aims to "blur the boundaries between physical object and software" through the Digital Crown navigation tool, the Taptic Engine for subtle alerts, and Force Touch, a new touch control system. Thoughtful design, says Apple, "should contribute to this experience of hardware and software feeling indistinguishable."

Apple suggests that all content created for the Apple Watch should be "lightweight," as the device is designed for simple interactions that are "accessible and dismissible quickly and easily, for both privacy and usability." Apps must "respect the context" in which the user accesses them, "briefly, frequently, and on a small display."

Apple's WatchKit development software became available earlier today, as part of the iOS 8.2 beta. The beta can be downloaded from Apple's developer site, and developers are able to immediately begin creating actionable notifications, Glances, and iPhone-driven apps for the Apple Watch. Apple says that developers will be able to create "fully native" apps "later next year."

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 2, watchOS 3
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)


Top Rated Comments

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23 months ago
Fragmentation.
Rating: 31 Votes
23 months ago

Fragmentation.


Almost funny. Different from 6/6+ how?
Rating: 20 Votes
23 months ago
I fully expect iOS9 to have lots of app crippling goodness for those that choose not to buy a Watch to use with their phone.
Rating: 20 Votes
23 months ago
I don't know if it's likely, but it would be very bold for Apple to charge the same price the two sizes.

I see all sorts of people make their choice of phone size based on the price. Wouldn't it be cool if Apple's sales force could help people decide on what size watch to get based solely on how it looks on their arm and nothing else?

These are supposed to be fashion pieces, after all. Does Apple want to see ludicrously tiny watches on large men's arms because they wanted to save a few bucks? That doesn't help Apple sell more watches.

Yes, I know the bigger watch uses more materials, but it's nowhere close to the difference between an iPad Air and Mini. And it's not like the markup on these things isn't high enough to cover the few extra cents in glass per larger watch.

I dunno, it would certainly be a departure from every other Apple product. But in this one case I could see it being beneficial to Apple.
Rating: 18 Votes
23 months ago

(//www.macrumors.com/2014/11/18/apple-watch-resolutions/[/url)



According to Apple, the Apple Watch aims to "blur the boundaries between physical object and software" through the Digital Crown navigation tool, the Taptic Engine for subtle alerts, and Force Touch, a new touch control system. Thoughtful design, says Apple, "should contribute to this experience of hardware and software feeling indistinguishable."


Article Link: Apple Watch Screen Resolutions: 312 x 390 for 42mm Version, 272 x 340 for 38mm Version (//www.macrumors.com/2014/11/18/apple-watch-resolutions/)


$100 bucks says Ive wrote this poetic malarkey...
Rating: 17 Votes
23 months ago
The documentation is in points but this article mentions it in pixels.
The 2 are not interchangeable.

The actual resolutions of the devices will be 544x680 and 624x780. These are retina screens with retina assets, so even though the functional resolution is lower, the actual resolutions is double what the article says.
Rating: 15 Votes
23 months ago
Yep, as I stated in my post here :) //forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=20375246&postcount=18
Rating: 12 Votes
23 months ago
Are you sure the pixel dimensions of the screen are correct?

It seems you posted the point dimensions, pixel dimensions would be twice that.

38mm: 272x340 pt = 544x680 px
42mm: 312x390 pt = 624x780 px

No?

If so the image is misleading and should either use "pt" for units or show the actual pixel dimensions.

Or maybe Apple decided to give it a 1x scaling factor so that 1pt = 1px, even though they're instructing developers to include @2x images?

I'm confused.
Rating: 12 Votes
23 months ago
Who is going to write the first fart app that is triggered each time your heart beeps?
Rating: 10 Votes
23 months ago

Watch puns really tick me off.

I second that.
Rating: 10 Votes

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