Use Jetpack Compose on Wear OS

Compose for Wear OS is similar to Compose for mobile. However, there are some key differences. This guide walks you through the similarities and differences.

Compose for Wear OS is part of Android Jetpack, and like the other Wear Jetpack libraries you use, it helps you write better code faster. This is our recommended approach for building user interfaces for Wear OS apps.

If you are unfamiliar with using the Jetpack Compose toolkit, check out the Compose pathway. Many of the development principles for mobile Compose apply to Compose for Wear OS. See Why Compose for more information on the general advantages of a declarative UI framework. To learn more about Compose for Wear OS, see the Compose for Wear OS Pathway and the Wear OS samples repository on GitHub.


Compose for Wear OS works on watches that support Wear OS 3.0 (API Level 30) and watches that use Wear OS 2.0 (API level 25 and above). Using version 1.0 of Compose for Wear OS requires using version 1.2 of androidx.compose libraries and Kotlin 1.7.0.


Compose for Wear OS makes building apps on Wear OS easier. For more information see Apps. Use our built-in components to create user experiences that conform to Wear OS guidelines. For more information about components, see our design guidance.

Setting up

Using Jetpack Compose with Wear OS is similar to using Jetpack Compose for any other Android project. The main difference is that Jetpack Compose for Wear adds Wear-specific libraries that make it easier to create user interfaces tailored to watches. In some cases those components share the same name as their non-wear counterparts, such as androidx.wear.compose.material.Button and androidx.compose.material.Button.

Create a new app in Android Studio

To create a new project that includes Jetpack Compose, proceed as follows:

  1. If you’re in the Welcome to Android Studio window, click Start a new Android Studio project. If you already have an Android Studio project open, select File > New > Import Sample from the menu bar.
  2. Search for Compose for Wear and select Compose for Wear OS Starter.
  3. In the Configure your project window, do the following:
    1. Set the Application name.
    2. Choose the Project location for your sample.
  4. Click Finish.
  5. Verify that the project's build.gradle file is configured correctly, as described in Gradle properties files.

Now you're ready to start developing an app using Compose for Wear OS.

Jetpack Compose toolkit dependencies

To use Jetpack Compose with Wear OS, you’ll need to include Jetpack Compose toolkit dependencies in your app’s build.gradle file, as shown in the following snippet:


dependencies {

    val composeBom = platform("androidx.compose:compose-bom:2024.06.00")

    // General compose dependencies
    // Other compose dependencies

    // Compose for Wear OS Dependencies

    // Foundation is additive, so you can use the mobile version in your Wear OS app.

    // Wear OS preview annotations

    // If you are using Compose Navigation, use the Wear OS version (NOT THE MOBILE VERSION).
    // Uncomment the line below and update the version number.
    // implementation("androidx.wear.compose:compose-navigation:1.3.1")

    // Testing

What is different

Use the WearComposeMaterial version of APIs where possible. While it's technically possible to use the mobile version of Compose Material, it is not optimized for the unique requirements of Wear OS. In addition, mixing Compose Material with Compose Material for Wear OS can result in unexpected behavior. For example, because each library has its own MaterialTheme class, there's the possibility of colors, typography, or shapes being inconsistent if both versions are used.

The following table outlines the dependency differences between Wear OS and Mobile:

Wear OS Dependency


Comparison Mobile Dependency


androidx.wear.compose:compose-material instead of androidx.compose.material:material
androidx.wear.compose:compose-navigation instead of androidx.navigation:navigation-compose
androidx.wear.compose:compose-foundation in addition to

Here's an example build.gradle file:

// Example project in app/build.gradle file
dependencies {
    // Standard Compose dependencies...

    // Wear specific Compose Dependencies
    implementation "androidx.wear.compose:compose-material:$rootProject.wearVersion"
    implementation "androidx.wear.compose:compose-foundation:$rootProject.wearVersion"

    // For navigation within your app...
    implementation "androidx.wear.compose:compose-navigation:$rootProject.wearVersion"

    // Other dependencies...


Try out Compose for Wear OS and use the issue tracker to provide suggestion and feedback.

Join the #compose-wear channel on Kotlin Slack to connect with developer community and let us know your experience.