Big improvements will be coming to Apple Watch apps later this year, Apple SVP of Operations Jeff Williams revealed during an interview at the Code Conference. In the current version of the Watch OS software, apps need to run on the iPhone rather than the watch itself, which puts a serious damper on performance.
However, that will change this fall, Williams said, when native watch apps are finally made possible…
Apple today has published a redesigned version of its Human Interface Guidelines website for Apple Watch WatchKit application development. The new website is far cleaner than the previous website, and introduces lengthier and more interactive descriptions of the different Apple Watch interface paradigms…
Apple has just officially announced its annual Worldwide Developers Conference for this year. The conference will take place in San Francisco as usual in early June. WWDC will officially kick off on June 8th and run through June 12th. Developers interested in attending the conference can apply for tickets starting today with applications open through Friday at 10 am PT/1 pm ET.
Like last year, available tickets will be distributed at random to a portion of applicants due to size constraints of the venue, Moscone West, although Apple says select sessions will actually be streamed live while most sessions will be available online after each day. Apple will announce ticket availability after the random selection process on Monday, April 20th, at 5 pm PT/8 pm ET.
Apple’s WWDC opening keynote serves as the unveiling stage for the next versions of iOS and OS X. Apple’s press release for the conference (below) teases the announcement of “the future of iOS and OS X” as we would expect. Expand Expanding Close
You’ll need something to do while you wait for your pre-ordered Apple Watch to arrive — things officially kicked off online at 12:01 PDT last night, or 3AM if you’re on the East Coast like me — so we’re compiling a running list of Watch apps hitting the App Store to keep you busy. When you actually get your Apple Watch — sometime between now and July — will depend on what model and how early you placed your pre-order.
These apps are either already available on the App Store or plan to update with support for Apple Watch by its launch on April 24th. Install the apps on your iPhone now, and you’ll be ready to go when your Apple Watch arrives on April 24th or after. Head below for the full list of apps: Expand Expanding Close
Apple has started sending emails to registered iOS developers today inviting them to participate in a WatchKit lab held at the company’s Sunnyvale, CA campus. The lab will run from March 16th until April 30th, so developers will still have the ability to take advantage of the offer even after the device has shipped.
The lab will give developers a chance to test their software on the actual device instead of the simulator built into Xcode. This will be especially important for those who want to submit their apps for day-one availability, since Apple has instituted a rule that all watch app submission must include a screenshot created on the device itself, not in the simulator.
Apple has been working with several third-party App Store developers at its Cupertino, California offices to assist developers in finishing up applications for the upcoming Apple Watch. Development and design representatives from dozens of different development firms have visited Apple last week, or are coming to Cupertino this week, to work with Apple engineers to finish up WatchKit-based applications. One source claims that Apple is holding workshops for over 100 different developers across February. Apple also met with a smaller number of developers to assist with WatchKit development and discuss future plans in early January…
Apple has released the fifth beta to developers for the upcoming iOS 8.2 release. The update is available both over-the-air from the Settings app on iOS as well as through the iOS Dev Center. The release includes bug fixes and improvements. Expand Expanding Close
In addition to supporting WatchKit and the Apple Watch, the iOS 8.2 software update will re-introduce some previously removed features in Apple’s Health app on iOS 8 as well as provide some feature enhancements. As discovered in the latest iOS 8.2 beta for developers, Apple is reintroducing support for blood glucose tracking through the iOS 8 Health app after an issue with which unit of measurement the app defaulted to presenting problems for international users of the feature. The somewhat intimidating Health app is also getting a little smarter with brief descriptions for the various data points tracked by the app listed under each section. Expand Expanding Close
As part of the WatchKit resources, which can be freely downloaded by anyone at Apple’s website, the company released the font it uses on Apple Watch, called San Francisco.
With Yosemite, Apple changed the system font from Lucida Grande to Helvetica, the font used on iOS. This caused some backlash amongst the designer community who detested the change of typeface. The Apple Watch font has been widely praised, leading some people to speculate whether it will become the default on iOS or OS X anytime soon. A user on GitHub has posted instructions on how to try out San Francisco on your Mac today, with some basic changes.
If you want to get quickly up to speed on the basics of creating an Apple Watch app following the release of WatchKit, developer Nick Walter has put a free 50-minute video tutorial online. You can also sign up for a full online course for just $39 on Kickstarter – saving $161 on the likely launch price.
Walter gained a certain amount of fame recently when Forbes reported that he made $66,000 in one month following a similar Kickstarter campaign for a course in making iPhone apps … Expand Expanding Close
Apple’s announcement of WatchKit, the tools developers will use to create Apple Watch apps, has provided a few insights into what the device will be like to use. We noted yesterday that there will be a Short Look, with just key information displayed, and a Long Look with more details – illustrated above. The Verge notes that switching between the two views won’t even require you to touch the watch.
The “Short Look” is only seen briefly when you raise your wrist — it’s an app icon, an app name, and some brief information. If the wearer keeps their wrist raised long enough — “after a moment,” according to Apple — the screen changes to a “Long Look” notification, which provides more information and is more customizable. For Long Looks, the app icon and name move to the top of the screen, and wearers can scroll down through the interface to use custom actions (such as “comment” or “favorite”) or dismiss the notification.
Third-party apps will initially need a connected iPhone, with ‘fully native’ watch apps coming later in 2015.
Apple has still not provided a specific date for availability of its smartwatch, but there have been reports of chip suppliers gearing-up for production following a leaked comment by retail head Angela Ahrendts that the launch would be in “the spring.”
Apple has just released a flood of information about how apps on Apple Watch work, through the WatchKit framework. There are three types of integrations currently possible: WatchKit apps, Glances and actionable notifications. Although they sound similar, the development process for WatchKit apps are actually very different to that of normal iOS apps for iPhone and iPad, as much of the computation is done on the connected iPhone rather than rendered by the watch’s hardware itself.
The interface elements and interaction patterns for WatchKit apps revolve around a core set of user interface components and layouts. Arbitrary views are not supported, which is a big departure from how iOS apps are constructed.
The constraints are in place because although the Watch renders the UI, any other coding logic is actually managed by the connected iPhone through a WatchKit extension, that silently runs on the iPhone. For instance, animations are pre rendered as an image sequence on the phone GPU before being sent OTA to the watch for display. Apple has announced that fully-native Watch apps will debut later in 2015, which will likely loosen these restrictions somewhat.
Apple has officially announced the availability of WatchKit, the software tools that developers will use for creating software for the Apple Watch coming in 2015. The company revealed last month that the SDK, or software development kit, would be released sometime this month. Apple says WatchKit enables developers to “create innovative WatchKit apps, actionable notifications and Glances, for timely information accessible by an easy, quick look at Apple Watch.” Additionally, resources within WatchKit reveal the screen resolutions for both Apple Watch sizes. Expand Expanding Close
Apple wants the third-party app marketplace for the upcoming Apple Watch to be a hit just like on the iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Apple has begun seeking an “Apple Watch Evangelist,” according to a posting on its official jobs website. This evangelist position is specifically designed to work with third-party application developers and promote development for the upcoming Apple Watch platform: