Deploying and Testing watchOS Apps with Xamarin

Deployment Checklist

Whether you are deploying to a test Watch, or uploading to the App Store, you need to complete the steps on this page:

App IDs

As discussed in the setup instructions, all three projects in a Watch App have related Bundle IDs, such as:

  • Xamarin.iOS Unified project - com.xamarin.WatchKitCatalog
  • WatchKit Extension project - com.xamarin.WatchKitCatalog.watchkitextension
  • Watch App project - com.xamarin.WatchKitCatalog.watchkitapp

All three projects require a matching Distribution Provisioning Profile, either using explicitly App IDs for each, or a wildcard App ID.

Explicit App IDs

Create an App ID for each project's Bundle ID (which will look like this on the iOS Dev Center):

The Bundle IDs in the iOS Dev Center

When creating or configuring App IDs, remember to enable the specific features your app requires. This could include push notifications and app groups.

You will need to create a Distribution Provisioning Profile for each App ID.

Wildcard App ID

Alternatively, you can create a wildcard App ID that matches all three projects, such as com.xamarin.*.

Note that some features cannot be used with a wildcard App ID (such as push notifications). If your app requires these features you should create explicit App IDs.

For distribution, you'll only need to create one Distribution Provisioning Profile for the wildcard App ID.

App Groups

You can use an App Group to share data between your iOS App and the Watch Extension. You should ensure that your solution has:

  • Configured the App Group in the Apple Developer Portal Certificates, Identifiers & Profiles section.

  • Enabled App Groups (and provided the App Group ID) in both the iOS App and the Watch Extension's App ID and Entitlements.plist.

Certificates, Identifiers & Profiles

To use an App Group, create an entry in the App Groups screen. In the example below the group is named with the same reverse-DNS style that is commonly used for App IDs, but with the group. prefix (which is required):

The Identifier

The app group will then appear in the list:

The Identifier list

Once the group is created, it can be referenced in your App ID configuration. Remember to include it both the iOS App and Watch Extension App IDs.

Available configurations

Do not enable App Groups in the Apple Watch App ID. It is not required to be enabled on the watch itself.


Some app features (eg. App Groups) require you to set your entitlements. Double-click to edit the Entitlements.plist file in these projects:

  • iOS App project
  • Watch Extension project

.The Entitlements.plist editor

Do not enable entitlements in the Watch App project. It is not required to be enabled on the watch itself.