I recently built an Apple WatchKit app for my company Fooda. The app allows our customers to track their food delivery once they’ve placed an order. Our app, like most apps needed to ask our iOS app to make a remote http call to our api to retrieve the necessary info to display the data.

Given almost all Watchkit apps will need to do exactly this, it should have been a walk in the park that is thoroughly documented by Apple. However, I discovered this is in fact not the case and if this is your first time building a WatchKit app, it’s ultimately simple with a few gotchas.

Yet, despite this being a core task of almost every app, it’s easy to go astray and end up with errors. Specifically the Domain=com.apple.watchkit.errors Code=2 error. This post will help you diagnose adn avoid it.

Error Domain=com.apple.watchkit.errors Code=2

If you run into any kind of trouble that’s going to make you pull your hair out, it’s this error. Your WatchKit app is going to receive this error if your iOS app fails to communicate with it properly. Specifically, it has failed to call the reply closure handed to it from the WatchKit app.

This you’ll find out can happen for many reasons.

  • Your iOS app crashed handling the WatchKit request
  • You are passing in-compatable datatypes back to the WatchKit app
  • Your app is marked as unable to run in the background
  • You fail to respond to the WatchKit app
  • You fail to respond to the WatchKit app quickly

Each of these errors are easy to prevent, but utltimately not documented in any one single place.

Making a call from Watchkit to your iOS app

To communicate with your iOS app from your WatchKit app, you are going to do so through the WKInterfaceController. This function allows you to package up a request in the form of a dictionary and a closure that is passed to your iOS app.

override func awakeWithContext(context: AnyObject?) {
super.awakeWithContext(context)

let request : [NSObject:AnyObject] = ["request":"glance_data"]

WKInterfaceController.openParentApplication(request, reply: { (reply, error) -> Void in

})
}

This is the simple part, and shouldn’t cause too many issues. However, it’s making sure you properly reply to your WatchKit that will determine if you receive the Domain=com.apple.watchkit.errors Code=2 error or not.

Make sure your app can run in the background

This shouldn’t be an issue, as most apps out of the box are allowed to do this. However, if for somereason your app is set to prevent background processing, this will result in your WKInterfaceController receiving the Domain=com.apple.watchkit.errors Code=2 error.

To verify this, in your targets plist make sure Application does not run in background is set to NO.

Add the handleWatchKitExtensionRequest in your AppDelegate

Implement the handleWatchKitExtensionRequest method in your AppDelegate. This method handles all requests from your WatchKit app. If you haven’t implemented this method on your iOS apps AppDelegate your WatchKit will receive the Domain=com.apple.watchkit.errors Code=2 error.

func application(application: UIApplication, handleWatchKitExtensionRequest userInfo: [NSObject : AnyObject]?, reply: (([NSObject : AnyObject]!) -> Void)!) {
//Handle the WatchKit request here
}

#Always call the reply closure Ultimately, the reason your WatchKit app is receiving the Domain=com.apple.watchkit.errors Code=2 error is because you failed to call the reply closure. So, no matter what happens, ensure you invoke the reply closure.

func application(application: UIApplication, handleWatchKitExtensionRequest userInfo: [NSObject : AnyObject]?, reply: (([NSObject : AnyObject]!) -> Void)!) {
reply(["response":["status":"success", "data":"hello world"]])
}

Running in the background

If your Watch user is glancing at their watch, most likely they aren’t also looking at your iOS app. That means your iOS app just woke up in the background, and needs to register to run in the background. If not, iOS will most likely terminate your app before you can invoke the reply closure.

func application(application: UIApplication, handleWatchKitExtensionRequest userInfo: [NSObject : AnyObject]?, reply: (([NSObject : AnyObject]!) -> Void)!) {
let backgroundProcessingToken = application.beginBackgroundTaskWithName("backgroundApiCall", expirationHandler: { () -> Void in
reply(["response":["status":"error", "data":"BACKGROUND_JOB_EXPIRED__OH_NO"]])
})

reply(["response":["status":"success", "data":"hello world"]])
application.endBackgroundTask(backgroundProcessingToken)
}

This becomes even more important if you are making an API call which can take a material amount of time.

Bringing it all together

Here’s an example pulling all the components together between a WatchKit app and it’s corresponding iOS app.

override func awakeWithContext(context: AnyObject?) {
super.awakeWithContext(context)

let request : [NSObject:AnyObject] = ["request":"glance_data"]

WKInterfaceController.openParentApplication(request, reply: { (reply, error) -> Void in
if(error == nil){
//Yeah, you have a response of some sorts from your iOS app.
}
})
}

Here’s the iOS AppDelegate handleWatchKitExtensionRequest implementation

func application(application: UIApplication, handleWatchKitExtensionRequest userInfo: [NSObject : AnyObject]?, reply: (([NSObject : AnyObject]!) -> Void)!) {
let backgroundProcessingToken = application.beginBackgroundTaskWithName("backgroundApiCall", expirationHandler: { () -> Void in
reply(["response":["error":"SOME_ERROR_CODE_INDICATING_TIMEOUT"]])
})


Alamofire.request(.GET, "https://api.forecast.io/forecast/[INSERT DARK SKY API CODE]/37.8267,-122.423").responseJSON(options: NSJSONReadingOptions.AllowFragments, completionHandler:{request, response, data, error in
if(error != nil || data == nil){
reply(["response":["error":"SOME_ERROR_CODE_INDICATING_FAILURE"]])
}

reply(["response":["status":"error", "data":data]])
application.endBackgroundTask(backgroundProcessingToken)
})
}