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Apple Watchkit – Everything you need to know

The most awaited product of the year may go to the Apple Watch, yes that is the name given to the masterpiece from Apple Inc. and the idea to ditch the i from all the Apple products may cost them dear, but Apple CEO Tim Cooks is quite confident of their new venture and it may just create curiosity among Apple fanboys and competitors alike. After launching two humungous iPhones( iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus) along with news for Apple Pay and Apple Watch to be launched in the former part of 2015. Recently, Apple has announced the Apple Watchkit( Developer’s version) for development of apps for the Apple Watch.

Apple Watchkit is a Software Development Framework that allows developers to create apps for Apple Watch, which is slated to release next year. Apple’s SVP of Marketing Philip Schiller stated “With the iOS 8.2 beta SDK, developers can now start using WatchKit to create breakthrough new apps, Glances and actionable notifications designed for the innovative Apple Watch interface and work with new technologies such as Force Touch, Digital Crown and Taptic Engine”.

Industry insiders believe that Native watch apps will not arrive until later next year. However, Apps can connect with Apple Watch in three ways. The first way to connect with an Apple Watch is a standard Watch App, which has its own interface and features. The second way is by adding a page to the watch’s Glances screen. The Glances screen contains short snippets of information, like blog updates or entertainment, that Apple Watch wearers can swipe to view. The final thing that apps can do is create actionable notifications. Now, this can be used to simply let someone read and respond to a message or can be programmed to allow more complicated actions — a smart home, for instance, could allow someone to turn off their TV or washing machine once they leave home.

The Apple Watch apps would be able to handle a lot of new features that Apple is adding to their iOS apps too. The first to this list is to use Handoff so that Watch wearers can pick up an app on their iPhone where they left on their Apple Watch. These apps will also have the ability to use AirPlay to stream media.

As of now, Apple is not allowing the developers to create native Apple Watch apps – these include the apps that run and exist only on the Apple Watch. These features would be coming in later next year, probably seems like it won’t be available when the app launches in the early part of 2015. Developers are confident that the apps they would start building today will all be extensions of iPhone apps which in turn means that you won’t be able to use them without an iPhone in your vicinity. This will be a boon to the Apple Watch’s battery life because most of the apps would be running by the phone, but there would be certain limitations making it difficult for developers to make innovative concepts work.

Coming to the technicalities, the Apple Watch models have only minor size differences but they have different display resolutions. The smaller model, which has a display height of 1.5 inches, has a resolution of 272 X 340 pixels. The larger of the two watches, which has a display height of 1.65 inches, has a resolution of 312 X 390 pixels. The documentation provided for developers on states that it won’t be a major difference for app developers but they will just have to worry about the different resolutions of the two watches.

The Apple team is already working on a number of Apple Watch apps with different app developers from American Airlines, ESPN and Instagram. Instagram’s app will allow the users to like or respond to pictures from a notification, browse and even follow their friends’ accounts. ESPN’s app will provide score updates through Glances and the app from American Airlines will provide flight information to business clientele and regular travellers.

Though Apple has not given an exact date as to when it would be releasing the Apple Watch, but we think it would be somewhere around early 2015, but Apple Insiders also believe it might take long to officially get into the hands of the general public. (Read spring 2015).

We at Nimblechapps will be working on the  Apple Watch apps and will soon come up with a couple of apps which we have in mind, since we heard about the launch of Apple Watch earlier this year. If you need any help with App development, don’t hesitate to contact us and we can provide you any help needed.

Rajiv Patil
Rajiv is one of the founders of Nimblechapps, a web and mobile development company based out of India. At Nimblechapps he overlooks delivery, product development and often lends a hand to the in house development team. His personal interest include Travel, Food and Motorcycling.