The notifications you receive on your Apple Watch have either square or round icons – a small detail that’s probably ignored by many users and I admit I’be been in that category for a long time.
It appears the shapes of your notifications are one of Apple’s design choices that’s more than just about aesthetics. Here’s what they mean:
- Round notification icon – In this case, you can take action using it, on your Watch. This means that particular app is also loaded on your watch, not just on your iPhone. For example if you get a notification with a round icon from Whatsapp, you can tap on it to reply directly from your wrist.
- Square notifcation icon – Technically, it’s a rounded square (just to avoid confusion). A square icon means there’s no Watch app and the notification is mirrored from your iPhone. The only thing you can do is tap on it to dismiss it.
Another interesting thing is how Mail notifications can be sometimes square, and other times round. When you get a square notification from your Mail app, then the message is not in the mailbox you’ve set up in your iPhone’s Watch app to receive notifications from. Obviously, when it’s round, the message is from the mailbox you configured to be notified on your wrist and you can send a reply from the notification icon.