Apple Developer – WatchKit
We don’t know how far those future native apps will go, but after the release of the Apple Watch development kit, we have learned a lot of interesting details about the clock’s interface and the options that developers can start exploring today.
The three options currently available for iPhone apps to have a reflection in the Apple Watch are: WatchKit Apps, Glnaces and Notifications.
These types of “Watch Apps” (Apple has definitely decided to use all possible combinations of these terms) are the most advanced and customizable that developers can create for the apple clock today. Their main limitation is that do not run on the clock but on our iPhone . This is the one that processes and provides the data based on the interactions made by the users in the Apple Watch. The clock is thus in charge of the interface, but not of the part that could most compromise its autonomy.
Unlike previous Watch Apps, this type starts from a predefined design to display the main pieces of information of an app in a shortened format . Glans can be made up of one or more separate information screens on pages that you move your finger around on, and although they are not interactive, they can link to specific sections of the iPhone app they belong to. Some good examples of Glances would be the weather forecast, a stopwatch, or our next meeting.
Current apps are already set up to have their notifications reflected on the clock by a gentle touch on the skin, but with a little extra work, developers can make them work with the Short LookLoong Look system we talked about earlier. Adding that these notifications can be interactive, with actions such as reply or ignore for example in the case of a message app, or as in the image on the right, offer us the option to turn off the lights when we leave home.
Finally, something very interesting about WatchKit is that it is fully compatible with the Handoff API, which means that it is designed so that we can move from our watch to the iPhone, iPad or Mac continuing at the point where we were from the same app without much difficulty. This feature will probably shine especially in cases like Maps, where we look for an address on the iPhone and continue to see the steps indistinctly on the phone or our watch.
At the moment, I believe that developers are starting from a much sweeter point than the one that was found with the iPhone and its “native web apps”, and from here, experience tells us that things can only get better.