N00b's Programming Machine


    0.11.5 • Public • Published

    Apple Watch Plugin for Apache Cordova npm version

    Cordova / PhoneGap Plugin for the Apple Watch (WatchKit) to allow communication between a Cordova app and an Apple WatchKit Extension (and vice versa).

    Simplified overarching diagram for message passing:

    You will need to write your own WatchKit Extension and WatchKit app with native code. It is not possible to run a Cordova app directly on the Watch, as there is no support for a WebView and the WatchKit code must reside in the WatchKit Extension. This plugin provides various methods of communication between a Cordova iPhone app and the WatchKit Extension / app.

    For more information on developing your WatchKit Extension / app, please see the WatchKit Programming Guide.

    Supported methods of communication:

    • Message passing - in memory and lightweight json object message passing over named queues between a Cordova app and a WatchKit Extension (2-way)
    • Local notifications - sending notifications directly from a Cordova app to an Apple Watch
    • User defaults - persisting user data accessible by both a Cordova app and a WatchKit Extension

    Please note that you cannot force a Cordova app to open from the Apple Watch - this is a limitation set by Apple.


    Latest published version on npm (with Cordova CLI >= 5.0.0)

    cordova plugin add cordova-plugin-apple-watch

    Latest version from GitHub

    cordova plugin add https://github.com/leecrossley/cordova-plugin-apple-watch.git

    You do not need to reference any JavaScript, the Cordova plugin architecture will add a applewatch object to your root automatically when you build.

    Message passing

    Some success and error handlers may be omitted. This is catered for in the interface function argument orders.


    Initialises the Apple Watch two way messaging interface. This must be called and the success handler fired before sendMessage can be used.

    applewatch.init(function successHandler(appGroupId) {}, errorHandler);

    The successHandler is called with one arg appGroupId that was used in initialisation. The app bundleId will be used for identification by default, prefixed by "group.".

    You can supply your own Application Group Id with the optional appGroupId argument, this should be in the format "group.com.company.app":

    applewatch.init(successHandler, errorHandler, appGroupId);


    Sends a message object to a specific queue (must be called after successful init).

    Used to send strings or json objects to the Apple Watch extension. Json objects are automatically stringified.

    The value of queueName must match a value used in a corresponding listener in Swift or Objective-C within the watch app using the method MMWormhole.listenForMessageWithIdentifier in order for the watch to receive the sent message.

    applewatch.sendMessage(message, queueName, successHandler, errorHandler);


    Adds a listener to handle a message object received on a specific queue (must be called after successful init).

    Used to handle strings or json objects received from the Apple Watch extension. Json objects are automatically parsed.

    The value of queueName must be used in a corresponding MMWormhole.passMessageObject method in Swift or Objective-C within the watch app in order for the Cordova app to receive a message.

    applewatch.addListener(queueName, messageHandler);


    Removes a listener for a specific queue.

    applewatch.removeListener(queueName, successHandler, errorHandler);


    Use with caution: removes all messages on a queue.

    applewatch.purgeQueue(queueName, successHandler, errorHandler);


    Use with extreme caution: removes all messages on all queues.

    applewatch.purgeAllQueues(successHandler, errorHandler);

    Message passing examples

    Example to send a message "test" to the "myqueue" queue and get handled, where "com.yourcompany" is the App ID and "group.com.yourcompany" is the App Group.

    Initialise message passing (Cordova app, js)

    applewatch.init(function (appGroupId) {
        // success, messages may now be sent or listened for
    }, function (err) {
        // an error occurred

    Send a message (Cordova app, js)

    // assumes a previously successful init call (above)
    applewatch.sendMessage("test", "from_phone_queue");

    Listen for messages (Cordova app, js)

    // assumes a previously successful init call (above)
    applewatch.addListener("from_watch_queue", function (message) {
        // handle your message here

    Initialise message passing (WatchKit extension, swift)

    // assumes your WatchKit extension references Wormhole.h in a Bridging-Header.h file
    let watchConnectivityListeningWormhole = MMWormholeSession.sharedListeningSession();
    let wormhole = MMWormhole(applicationGroupIdentifier: "group.com.yourcompany", optionalDirectory: nil, transitingType: .SessionContext);

    Send a message (WatchKit extension, swift)

    // assumes wormhole is initialised (above)
    wormhole.passMessageObject("titleString", identifier: "from_watch_queue")

    Listen for messages (WatchKit extension, swift)

    // assumes wormhole is initialised (above)
    watchConnectivityListeningWormhole.listenForMessageWithIdentifier("from_phone_queue", listener: { (messageObject) -> Void in
        if let message: AnyObject = messageObject {
            // handle your message here

    More information regarding the MMWormhole component used in message passing can be found here.



    Requests permission for local notifications if you want to utilise the short-look / long-look notification interface. This must be called and the success handler fired before sendNotification will work correctly.

    applewatch.registerNotifications(successHandler, errorHandler);
    • successHandler is called with true if the permission was accepted
    • errorHandler is called with false if the permission was rejected


    Sends a local notification directly to the Apple Watch (should be called after successful registerNotifications).

    Used to display the Apple Watch short-look / long-look notification interface, using UILocalNotification. If the user continues to look at the notification, the system transitions quickly from the short-look interface to the long-look interface.

    var payload = {
        "title": "Short!",
        "category": "default",
        "body": "Shown in the long-look interface to provide more detail",
        "badge": 1
    applewatch.sendNotification(successHandler, errorHandler, payload);
    • title - shown in the short-look interface as a brief indication of the intent of the notification
    • category - defines the notification interface to show and action buttons (if any)
    • body - shown in the long-look interface to provide more detail
    • badge - app icon badge number

    NB: This notification will also appear on the iPhone if the app is running in a background mode.

    User defaults


    Allows persistence of user default data (single property key/value object) that can be retrieved by the WatchKit extension.

        errorHandler, { "myKey": "myValue" }, appGroupId);

    The app bundleId will be used for identification by default, prefixed by "group." if appGroupId is not supplied.

    For completeness, here's how you could retrieve the value in your WatchKit extension (swift):

    let userDefaults = NSUserDefaults(suiteName: "group.com.yourcompany")
    var myValue: String? {
        return userDefaults?.stringForKey("myKey")


    Allows retrieval of user default data.

    applewatch.getUserDefaults(successHandler, errorHandler, "myKey", appGroupId);

    The app bundleId will be used for identification by default, prefixed by "group." if appGroupId is not supplied.

    Live demo

    See this plugin working in a live app: sprint.social


    iOS 8.2+ only. However, you can include this plugin and set a lower minimum iOS version. For example setting a deployment target of 8.0 will not cause any errors with the plugin. Similarly, there will be no errors if a user is using the Cordova app without a paired watch.

    watchOS 1 & 2.


    MIT License


    npm i cordova-plugin-apple-watch

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    • leecrossley