iOS Developers rejoiced in November, after Apple has released the WatchKit allowing developers to deliver innovative new experiences to people’s wrists.
Take your apps even further by extending and enhancing their functionality on Apple Watch
Let’s start by listing the things you can develop today for the Apple Watch. WatchKit includes three types of Apps developers can build:
Watchkit App : The Wachkit app includes a full user interface, that users can launch and interact with in ways unique to Apple Watch. This type is an extension of your existing iOS app. WatchKit Apps can not exist on their own, nor there is any WatchKit App store. When developing your mobile app, you need to enable the WatchKit extension, and include all the User interface for the watch, within your app.
Glances : Glances allow you to provide users with timely read-only information that they care about with a Glance. It is a quick and lightweight view that allows to push small bits of information to your app users.
Actionable Notifications : Actionable notifications just like on iOS, allows users to receive remote or local notifications from your app, allowing them to take action right from their wrists.
This is the disappointing part, because we were really looking forward to have access to all that technology and sensors jam packed on people’s wrists.
The Apple Watch has several sensors built into it, which allows it to measure various metrics like burned calories, steps taken, and pulse rate. The sensors won’t just be used for your health, though: Apple is also having a bit of fun with the heart-rate monitor. The watch allows you to record your heartbeat, send it to a friend, who will then feel it played out for them in vibrations. Not the most useful feature, but perhaps a romantic one.
Unfortunately, none of this is accessible to developers. Currently WatchKit does not provide any APIs to access those sensors. So beyond the notification and displaying small bits of information out of your app existing app running on the phone, there is nothing specific you can do on the watch, that you can’t do on the phone.
That being said, if you have an iOS app already, that you would like to update to make it compatible with Apple Watch, get in touch and we will show you how you can extend your app and get it ready for the Apple Watch.
In the meantime, let’s hope Apple will provide new APIs, so we can get our hands on the good stuff and start building smart apps that bring new powers to people’s wrists.
Get in touch and we can discuss how we can help on your project.