The new analog Infograph face on Apple Watch Series 4 can scream information overload by default, and many of the existing analog faces feel improperly adjusted for the new display. Customizing and scaling back the visual elements on Infograph can create a much better experience.
Infograph can show up to eight complications, but that doesn’t mean it must — even if the default version is fully loaded. For me, stripping Infograph down to just the clock is a great starting place.
This requires a lot of Digital Crown scrolling on the Apple Watch to set each complication slot to empty and may be faster on the Watch app for iPhone. The end result is a simple and attractive clock without all of the noise of complications recommended for you.
Infograph without any complications actually looks a lot like versions of Utility and Simple when scaled back. This is Simple, Utility, and Infograph:
The difference is only in the tick marks around the dial until you crank up the amount of data each presents:
(By the way, a version of Infograph without center complications would really be great with numbers for each hour around the dial.)
I really like the concept of the top center complication that can include text around the dial, but the center complications make it more difficult the quickly read the time from the clock.
For me, I’ve found that using Infograph with no center complications and only corner complications is a usable balance. I have access to a large clock face with no detail obscured, and corner complications can present information that I’ve come to expect from my Apple Watch.
Personally, I like to see the current temperature so I know how to dress myself and my kids, the date for when I’m signing my son in and out at daycare, and my Activity rings for tracking my fitness progress. This is the version of Infograph that I’ve found works for me:
There is nothing obstructing the clock and the new corner complications are still information dense. Weather shows the current temperature as well as the high and low, and Activity shows my rings as well as numerical data.
Finding enough relevant Infograph complications for your needs can be challenging for now. Apple doesn’t offer nearly as many complications on Infograph as it does other faces, and some only work inside the dial.
Date is one of those instances, but there are two great options: Fantastical ($2.99) which is my go-to calendar on iPhone anyway, and Better Day ($1.99) which also adds a full three-year calendar view on the Apple Watch. Apple’s Calendar app is limited to the current month view … even if it’s the last day of the month. Both Fantastical and Better Day let you customize how complications appear on Apple Watch.
Humidity data comes with Carrot Weather ($4.99 + $3.99/year subscription). That may be overkill for how I’m using it — purely to see humidity data on Infograph — but I like it. It’s often very humid where I live and 80º can feel very different depending on how muggy it is outside.
Apple’s Calendar and Weather apps could provide data for these complications, but it’s early days for Apple Watch Series 4 and the Infograph corner complications. I’m happy there are other apps filling the gaps.
The humidity omission is actually a bit more curious. Apple presents this data on the iPhone Weather app, but not on the Apple Watch Weather app; the only way to check without a third party app is using Siri. Air quality and UV index are new to watchOS 5 and make for pretty gauge complications, but neither are major variables where I live.
If you prefer this approach to Infograph, the key is using corner complications that show data that you find relevant. I’m sure we’ll continue to see more apps update for the new Infograph watch face, and for now these are some apps that already offer compatible corner complications:
Have your own Infograph complication picks? Share your recommendations and your watch face in the comments and on Twitter at @9to5mac and @apollozac.