We were aware that WatchOS 4 would be coming this fall, but we could only speculate that a new watch was coming as well. At the Keynote presentation on September 12, Apple revealed that the Apple Watch Series 3 will become available on September 22, which is great news for consumers and developers alike. In a previous post we discussed some of the specs of this new watch. Here, we’d like to talk about how developers can grow with the new watch and operating system.
Currently, Apple Watch apps are still a fairly niche product. Many of the apps are a more text oriented, simplified version that corresponds with a more robust phone app. Changes can be made with the watch and it will update in real time with the app on the phone. There are early adopters out there, and those on the cutting-edge of technology have definitely already taken advantage of it. But it hasn’t been quite ubiquitous enough to get much attention from too many developers quite yet.
Many of the changes that are coming with watchOS 4 are geared towards helping users get the most out of their workout, claiming it “knows you better, so it can push you further.” Among other things, there will also be updates to Apple Music, Apple Pay, and News. In addition, watchOS 4 will come with new features for developers and system-wide improvements. Apps will be faster and more responsive, and allow for a better user experience. With the Series 3 watch, you can incorporate built-in cellular into your app, which could open up all kinds of possibilities.
Apple lays out the watch Human Interface Guidelines of the Apple Watch on their developer site. As they say, there are three primary design approaches to take: the app must be glanceable, actionable, and responsive. In contrast to phone apps, watch apps are only interacted with for seconds at a time. WatchKit helps developers design apps that are adaptable across all Apple watch devices.
We imagine that as the technology develops, in both the software and the hardware, we’ll see it gaining more traction with consumers. We’re excited to see what developers decide to do with the new changes coming to the Apple Watch.