Expectations for WatchKit(▼)(▲)
November 7, 2014
So this morning I’ve been re-reading all the official, published information I can find about Apple Watch. While reading through it I noticed that Apple had actually been pretty clear about what developers can expect with the rollout of WatchKit. This has helped temper my expectations and make me more realistic about what will be possible to build at launch.
Apple has said we can expect for there to be a two-phase rollout of the WatchKit APIs. The most concrete exposition of this is the Press Release announcing the Apple Watch (emphasis mine).
Apple introduces WatchKit, providing new tools and APIs for developers to create unique experiences designed for the wrist. With Apple Watch, developers can create WatchKit apps with actionable notifications and Glances that provide timely information. Starting later next year, developers will be able to create fully native apps for Apple Watch.
So to start with we will be given the ability to implement actionable notifications and Glances. This is what I believe we are getting with the SDK release this month.
It will only be later next year that full apps will be possible. It is not a stretch to think that later next year is code for WWDC next June. Likely along with WatchOS (or whatever they call it) version 2.0.
I'm happy about this. I was concerned as to how developers were going to be able to build quality apps for the Watch when they had yet to get a chance to actually wear it on their wrists for a while. It takes experience with a device to be able to know what kind of apps and capabilities are needed, and those that are not.