watchOS platform features

Introduction to watchOS 5

This document provides a high-level overview of new and updated features in watchOS 5 that are available for use when building watchOS apps with Xamarin.

Introduction to watchOS 4

This document provides a high-level overview of features added and updated in watchOS 4.

Introduction to watchOS 3

This article describes new and updated APIs in watchOS 3.

Apple Pay enhancements

In watchOS 3, the PassKit framework has been expanded to allow support for secure, in-app payments (of both physical goods and services) for the apps running on the Apple Watch.

Background tasks

watchOS 3 introduces several background tasks that an app can use to update its information ensuring that it has the content the user needs before they open it.


Learn how to provide custom notification handling in your watch app.


Add complication support to display up-to-date data on the watch face.

Proactive suggestions

watchOS 3 allows the app to proactively present information to the user within given contexts. To support this feature, the NSUserActivity now includes the MapItem property that lets the app provide location information for later use by other apps.

Quick interaction techniques

Providing quick user interactions are essential to creating compelling Apple Watch apps and Complications. New to watchOS 3, Apple has added support for Gesture Recognizers, access to the Digital Crown and new User Notification and navigation techniques. This, along with added support for both SceneKit and SpriteKit, allow the developer to easily create rich, glanceable interfaces that are both quick and responsive.

Workout app enhancements

New to watchOS 3, workout related apps have the ability to run in the background on the Apple Watch. To enable this feature (and gain access to HealthKit data), the app must include the WKBackgroundModes key in the Info.plist file with the value workout-processing.