1. Which apps can be used in complications?
  2. How to add Apple Watch complications

How to add complications to an Apple Watch face

Get to know those tiny icons on your smartwatch
Wareable How to add complications to an Apple Watch face photo 1
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Apple Watch complications are the best and easiest way to add more information to your watch face - and there are a few tricks to know if you really want to get the most out of them. 

These tiny icons that exist on your chosen watch face can act as shortcuts to your favorite, most-used apps or simply deliver at-a-glance information, such as the sunset time or humidity.

Below, we've covered how to add and edit the complications on your watch face, plus listed the compatible apps and the kind of information that you can expect to get from them.

Which apps can be used in complications?

WareableHow to add complications to an Apple Watch face photo 2

Not all Apple Watch complications are created equally.

As you'll find when adding complications, most are Apple's creations - things like shortcuts and rich information relating to your Activity Rings, or a quick view of your watch's battery. In general - and as you would expect - they're very useful.

When it comes to complications for third-party apps, however, this is where things start to vary.

Most apps have managed to now create a shortcut for you to quickly jump in from the Apple Watch's face, but not many have created dedicated complications that are rich with information. 

You can see both types in our image above. While Citymapper (top-right), for example, provides a rich complication with an ETA once you've started a journey, Strava (top-left) is simply a shortcut.

Meanwhile, the remaining three slots in the middle and two slots in the bottom left and bottom right are Apple-created complications.

Here are some apps that provide rich third-party complications on the Apple Watch:

  • Citymapper
  • Just Press Record
  • Carrot Weather
  • HeartWatch
  • WaterMinder
  • Streaks
  • iTranslate 
  • Pedometer++
  • Lumy 
  • App in the Air

How to add Apple Watch complications

WareableHow to add complications to an Apple Watch face photo 3

Editing Apple Watch complications is simply a progression to adding a watch face, and doing so allows you to customize and personalize your experience. 

Follow the steps below to add complications - and remember that not all watch faces give you the option to add them.

1. With your Apple Watch face showing, touch and hold the display until it zooms out and gives you the option to select 'Edit.'

2. Swipe left until you can see 'Complications' at the top of the display. If you can't see this when you swipe, the watch face isn't compatible with complications.

3. Tap the area of the screen (signified by the faint outline) you wish to add a complication to - this will then bring up a list of options to pick from.

4. Swipe through this list or use the Digital Crown to scroll, tapping on the complication you want.

5. To confirm your selection, press the Digital Crown.

How we test

Conor Allison


Conor moved to Wareable Media Group in 2017, initially covering all the latest developments in smartwatches, fitness trackers, and VR. He made a name for himself writing about trying out translation earbuds on a first date and cycling with a wearable airbag, as well as covering the industry’s latest releases.

Following a stint as Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint, Conor returned to Wareable Media Group in 2022 as Editor-at-Large. Conor has become a wearables expert, and helps people get more from their wearable tech, via Wareable's considerable how-to-based guides. 

He has also contributed to British GQ, Wired, Metro, The Independent, and The Mirror. 

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