Better Day has three main modes of use: the Apple Watch App, which provides a three-year calendar; the Apple Watch Complication, which shows information about the current day; and the iPhone Companion App, which allows for customization of the Apple Watch app and complication.
When you launch Better Day on your Apple Watch, you will see the current month with the current date highlighted. All the months of the current year are accessible by rotating the Digital Crown; scroll down to view upcoming months, or scroll up to view previous months.
You will also notice three page indicators at the bottom of the screen. These represent the other years available to view. Swipe to the screen on the left to reach the last month of the previous year; from there, you can scroll through all the months of the previous year by scrolling up with the Digital Crown. Similarly, if you swipe to the rightmost screen, you will arrive at the first month of the upcoming year; scroll down with the Digital Crown to scroll through the months of the upcoming year.
If you scroll to a different month or year and leave the app briefly, it will resume at the date you were looking at. If you leave for longer, the app will automatically return to today. You can also return to today with a force press on the calendar.
Better Day supports all complication slots that are open to third-party developers. The easiest way to add the Better Day complication to your watch face is to force press on your current watch face, tap Customize and add it to the desired complication slot. You can also add it from the Watch app on your iPhone.
Better Day is deeply customizable, allowing you to select everything from the color of the calendar to its language, and exactly the information you want to see in every available complication.
When you launch Better Day, you will be at the configuration screen for the Modular family of complications. The complication display inside the pulsing rectangle indicates what Better Day will show in that slot. Tap on one of the slots to configure the information you want to see in each slot.
The pages to the right allow for configuration of all the available complication slots on your watch faces. The page to the left displays a preview of the current month with your current settings; tap it to change things like the accent color, week / day of year style, calendar system, language and various other options.
To ensure that settings synchronize over, it helps to have the Better Day app open on your Apple Watch while you adjust your settings.
First, double check that the Apple Watch app is installed on your watch; if the "Automatic App Install" option is disabled, the app will download to your phone, but the Apple Watch companion app will not install on your watch. Follow these steps to make sure Better Day is installed correctly:
Occasionally the Watch app fails to display newly downloaded apps in the list. First, force-quit and relaunch the Watch app and see if Better Day appears. If Better Day does not appear even after that, rebooting your phone should force the Watch app to refresh the list of apps.
Better Day supports all complication slots except for the Utility Date, Color Date, and Infograph Modular date slots; unfortunately, those three are not available to third party developers. If it is missing in other complication slots, please ensure that the complication is enabled:
You can set this option by using the ISO 8601 calendar:
This will force Better Day to use the ISO 8601 calendar, which starts the week on Monday and numbers the weeks accordingly.
To be absolutely sure your setting syncs over, make sure Better Day is open on your Apple Watch while you change your settings.
At this time, all complications of a given type display the same information; if you put Better Day into two slots on the Color face, for example, they will display the same information. This is a watchOS limitation.
If the watch face has multiple types, like the Utility Large and Utility Small slot, you can configure Better Day to display different information in these two slots.
Unfortunately, Better Day cannot currently be added to the Date slot on Utility, Color or Infograph Modular, as these slots are not available to third party developers.
There are a few issues at play here. First, the configuration one: Make sure Background App Refresh is turned on! Better Day cannot refresh the date if it can't update in the background.
Second, the routine issue: watchOS only updates complications when they are on your active watch face. If you swipe from your current watch face to a different watch face with Better Day on it, the date might appear stale for a moment until watchOS refreshes the data. This is just the way watchOS works: it doesn't expend energy refreshing complications until they are active, but once they appear, they should refresh within a matter of seconds.
The final issue: there was indeed a problem in older versions of Better Day that caused watchOS to throttle Better Day's updates. To understand how this happened, here's the post-mortem analysis.
WatchOS allows apps to update their complications throughout the day. When the system asks for updates, it asks both for what to display right now, and what to display in the future; for example, on Monday at 6PM, Better Day provides the text "MON" to display now, and the text "TUE" with a timestamp of midnight, so that watchOS will be ready with tomorrow's date right at midnight. Still, Better Day updates this timeline multiple times throughout the day, since in the event of a time zone change, midnight in the origin time zone would not be the correct hour for the changeover in the new time zone.
WatchOS also limits the number of times a complication can update, to prevent apps from eating up the Apple Watch battery. Earlier builds of Better Day requested updates every hour, which seemed in line with Apple's guidance on complication update frequency, and worked for the vast majority of users. For some users, though — the common thread is unclear — watchOS seemed to throttle Better Day much more aggressively, leading to stale complication data when the timeline ran out.
The fix: counterintuitively, the solution to this issue was scaling back the frequency of Better Day's timeline updates. Better Day now updates the timeline eight times per day instead of 24. Since watchOS requests (and Better Day provides) two to three days of timeline at each update, the complication can stay up to date just as long on fewer updates. This fix may lead to an edge case of stale data if you change time zones close to midnight; it's unfortunate, but it seems to have addressed the more prevalent case of stale data due to throttling.
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