The announcement of the new watchOS2 and a native app SDK has made the Apple Watch a very interesting development platform. The native SDK will incorporate support for apps so that data can be directly read from the watch’s sensors. The launch of Complications, the new function available for third-party developers, will allow the creation of widgets for the Apple Watch’s different watch faces. However, this function is currently supported only by native Apple apps like Weather or Calendar.
New features like video playback or access to HealthKit will be available soon too. Moreover, Time Travel will make it possible for users to rotate the Digital Crown in order to go through the history of information shown in their Complications. Thanks to the Apple Watch’s Wi-Fi radio, available to developers, it will not be necessary to have a paired iPhone nearby all the time.
Despite all the aforementioned improvements, app developers have anxiously expressed their concerns about adapting their existing products to the next Apple Watch update. Things are intended to change with the new system update, which is planned to be rolled out soon.
Sales figures show the contrast between the popularity of the Apple Watch and the Android Wear watch. 957,000 units of the Apple Watch were purchased in one day whereas the Android Wear watch sales were stuck at 720,000 sold by the end of 2014. However, a relatively steady estimate of 15.4 million units are predicted to be shipped in 2015. Should Apple want to maintain its leadership, the company will need to address two main challenges: the battery life of their devices, as well as their over-all appearance.
Undoubtedly, Apple Watch is changing the relationship between their users and technology. Apps can be taken even further thanks to WatchKit. Its extension runs in the background to update the user’s interface and respond to interactions. Once WatchKit apps are ready they can be submitted for review.
In spite of its success, there is an interesting fact about the Apple Watch that is worth mentioning. While Apple was working on its watch, Nokia was developing a Moonraker smartwatch with many of the aesthetics of the Windows Phone design. Nevertheless, Microsoft cancelled the launch of this watch when the company acquired Nokia’s phone business. Thus, it is not very likely that Nokia’s Moonraker smartwatch makes it to the market.
Developers can now work with the watchOS 2 beta whereas the rest of the users will have to wait for its public release. It must be taken into account that plenty of iPhone features are not carried over to the wrist so potential buyers will need to decide whether purchasing an Apple Watch is convenient and fashionable enough.