Apple released WatchKit last week, and our iOS team has already begun developing a few Watch apps. It’s still too early to know if we’ll look back at this week and call it a seminal one the way we did when Apple released its original iOS kit to developers in 2008. But we think there’s a good chance. Especially given that Morgan Stanley analyst, Katy Huberty, said in a recent note to investors that 30 million Apple Watches in the first year might be a “conservative” number.
So what do you need to know?
More functionality than expected
Many developers expected only basic functionality with the release of WatchKit, predicting complete functionality to arrive next summer when version 2.0 comes out. Apple, however, has pleasantly surprised us by including actionable notifications to controls, glances, Handoff, and more. We’ll explain what all this means below, but the bottom line is that we have much more control over the Apple Watch than we originally thought we would.
The basic architecture
Think of the Watch as a custom “view” of the information on the iPhone, with some basic ability to interact. The iPhone contains the code that actually makes everything happen, including reacting to taps, changing values, etc. The brilliance is that everything happens in the background via Bluetooth — so from a development perspective, we are not developing to two devices, but instead to another screen from the core device.
So, for this first version, we should really not be thinking of the Watch being able to run apps, but instead just extensions of existing iPhone apps. We expect true independent Watch apps to arrive summer of 2015.
New approach to layout
Apple’s come up with a completely different approach to layout, which we think is brilliant given the small screen size. You basically use “groups” that are either vertical, horizontal or nested. Then you can apply some styling like background color, margins, etc.
Notifications & Glances
Our position continues to be that…Continue Reading Article