Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Find: Apple releases WatchKit developer tools alongside first iOS 8.2 beta



Apple releases WatchKit developer tools alongside first iOS 8.2 beta
// Ars Technica

As of today, developers can officially begin writing software for the Apple Watch.
Megan Geuss

The Apple Watch is set to launch early in 2015, and back in September Apple said that developers would be able to write software for it using a new set of APIs called WatchKit. Today Apple has officially issued the first beta of WatchKit to third party developers, who can get started writing and testing Apple Watch software now.

According to Apple's WatchKit page, Apple Watch apps are actually divided up into two parts. One is "a WatchKit Extension" that actually runs on your iPhone, and the other is "a set of user interface resources that are installed on Apple Watch." The iPhone's more powerful SoC will actually be executing the code, and you interact with that code through the UI on the watch's screen. Apple's introductory video at the bottom of the WatchKit page explains the basics of how the phone and the watch will communicate, and how apps will work—we'll sum up some of the most interesting parts, but developers especially will want to watch the whole thing.

This is an interesting way to handle things, because it takes some pressure off of the hardware inside the Apple Watch itself (Apple called the entire system the "S1" in its presentation, but aside from that we know little about it). One worry that has surfaced as pundits have debated the watch's price tag is the replacement cycle—does Apple expect you to replace your watch every year? Every two or three years, like you do with your phone? Some guesses on cost, particularly for the gold Apple Watch Edition, have gone up to $1,000 and beyond, and watch aficionados who spend that much on these things generally expect them to last.

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