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.

applewatch
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.

iconsizestable
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 Roundup: Apple Watch Series 7
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)
Related Forum: Apple Watch

Top Rated Comments

milo Avatar
92 months ago
Fragmentation.
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Neepman Avatar
92 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.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MacSince1990 Avatar
92 months ago
Fragmentation.

Almost funny. Different from 6/6+ how?
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Small White Car Avatar
92 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.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
eggersj Avatar
92 months ago
(https://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 (https://www.macrumors.com/2014/11/18/apple-watch-resolutions/)
$100 bucks says Ive wrote this poetic malarkey...
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mikeo007 Avatar
92 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.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

iphone holiday

Best Black Friday iPhone Deals Still Available

Friday November 26, 2021 4:58 am PST by
Cellular carriers have always offered big savings on the newest iPhone models in holidays past, and Black Friday 2021 is no different. Right now we're tracking notable offers on the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro devices from AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. For even more savings, keep an eye on older models like iPhone SE. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you...
airpods family holiday

Best Black Friday AirPods Deals Still Available

Friday November 26, 2021 4:04 am PST by
Black Friday 2021 deals are still going strong, and we're tracking the best deals across Apple's AirPods lineup. Throughout the week we've been sharing the best sales for Apple devices like iPhone, Mac, and iPad, so be sure to follow us on Twitter for all of the latest Black Friday sales Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a...
apple mixed reality headset mockup feature purple

Kuo: Apple AR Headset Coming in Late 2022 With Mac-Level Computing Power

Thursday November 25, 2021 8:32 pm PST by
Apple's long-rumored augmented reality (AR) headset project is set to bear its first fruit late next year with the launch of the first device carrying a pair of processors to support its high-end capabilities, according to a new research report from noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo seen by MacRumors. According to Kuo, the higher-end main processor is said to be similar to the M1 chip Apple...
apple watch cellular holiday

Best Black Friday Apple Watch Deals Still Available

Friday November 26, 2021 4:55 am PST by
The Apple Watch always makes a great gift around the holiday season, and for Black Friday 2021 we're tracking a few solid offers on numerous models of the Apple Watch. In this article, you'll find the best Black Friday sales on the new Apple Watch 7, but the best money-saving discounts will be found on older models like the Apple Watch Series 3 and SE. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner...
iPads black friday 20 sale feature

Best Black Friday iPad Deals Still Available

Friday November 26, 2021 4:48 am PST by
Although Black Friday sales began as early as October in 2021, the shopping holiday is now officially underway and we're highlighting the best sales for each of Apple's product lines. In this article, you'll find the best Black Friday sales on iPad Pro and iPad mini. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a...
mac family holiday

Best Black Friday iMac and MacBook Deals Still Available

Friday November 26, 2021 4:29 am PST by
Our Black Friday 2021 coverage continues with the best deals you can find on MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac, and Mac mini today. As with all Black Friday deals, we aren't sure how long any of these will last, and prices are always fluctuating, so if you see something you want, be sure to buy it soon. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and...
General black friday 20 sale feature

Huge List of Black Friday Deals on iPhone and Mac Cases, Cables, Accessories and Software

Friday November 26, 2021 5:09 am PST by
Black Friday is in full swing today, and in this article we're highlighting some of the best deals that you can find online among popular third-party accessory makers like Twelve South, Nomad, Satechi, and many more. Visit our Black Friday Roundup for a deeper dive into the best sales going on today. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and...
apple black friday shopping event 2021

Apple's Black Friday Promotion Now Underway in the U.S. and More Countries

Friday November 26, 2021 12:07 am PST by
Apple's annual four-day Black Friday through Cyber Monday shopping event is now underway in the United States and select other countries, with customers able to receive a free Apple gift card with the purchase of select products through November 29. Participating countries include the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany,...