How to tell if Apple Watch notifications are from a native app or an iPhone app

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited April 2017
Sometimes when you get a notification on your Apple Watch, you can tap on it for further options, or to open a corresponding app. Other times, that notification is from your iPhone, and there's not much you can do with it other than dismiss it. Here's how to quickly tell the difference.



It's all in the shape. App icons on watchOS are circles, and when you get a notification from an app that is native to the Apple Watch, tapping on it will open the corresponding app.

When an alert arrives, or you are browsing through past ones in Notification Center, the corresponding app icon is located in the upper left. If it's a circle, tapping once will provide quick options like "reply" or "dismiss," and tapping a second time will open the corresponding app.

If the icon is a square, however, that means it's simply an iPhone notification. That's because app icons on the iPhone are squares (with rounded corners).



There aren't as many options when dealing with a notification that isn't from a native watchOS app. Tap it and you'll have an option to dismiss. But there is no second tap to open the app, because the app is only on your iPhone.

This subtle distinction of round or square is an easy way to tell what you can do directly from your wrist, without the need to pull your phone out of your pocket.

For more, see AppleInsider's Apple Watch tips series, including how to maximize music stored locally, how to maximize battery life, and how to remotely take pictures.
patchythepirate

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 4
    Learn something new every day.  Now I just need to figure out why I get random too-short-to-be-useful alerts from the WSJ on my watch a few times a day.
    douglas baileywlym
  • Reply 2 of 4
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 2,049member
    I sent a message to one contact in contacts with the Messages app in iPhone.  The person said the message is sent as an email.  How could this be? 
  • Reply 3 of 4
    wlymwlym Posts: 97member
    tzeshan said:
    I sent a message to one contact in contacts with the Messages app in iPhone.  The person said the message is sent as an email.  How could this be? 
    Is it possible that in your Contacts app this person only has an email address and no phone number associated with their name? Or, maybe, for some reason, that person has 2 profiles in your Contacts app and the one you used only has an email address. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 4
    macguimacgui Posts: 1,525member
    wlym said:
    Or, maybe, for some reason, that person has 2 profiles in your Contacts app and the one you used only has an email address. 
    This exactly what happened to me. Every once in awhile, something goes awry and some/many of my contacts' info and I get double contacts with different and/or missing info.

    Sometimes I have two contacts for the same person, one with an email and no phone number, and one with the opposite info. Or I've entered a contact with only a phone number and macOS has made an additional contact for that person with an email addressed scraped from— and email.

    Otherwise, I don't recall ever considering whether a notification came from the Watch or Phone.  
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