Apple Opens WatchKit SDK to App Developers

Apple WatchesApple has released WatchKit, the developer tools for its forthcoming Apple Watch, as part of the iOS 8.2 beta SDK.

As well as apps, WatchKit can be used to develop actionable notifications – as the name suggests, push messages which users can respond to using the watch – and Glances, widgets displaying a quick summary of an apps info that can be tapped to open the full version.

Already signed up to develop apps using WatchKit are ESPN, which will be using notifications and Glances to deliver real-time score updates; Instagram; and American Airlines.

“The American Airlines app on Apple Watch reminds you when it’s time to head to the airport via pre-trip notifications, and provides updates for gate changes, connecting gate info upon arrival, and will notify you when boarding begins if you’re not at the gate yet,” said John Gustafson, American Airlines VP of digital. “Travellers can also ask ‘Where am I?’ in-flight and get real-time location information at 30,000 feet.”

Developers will be able to create fully native apps for Apple Watch starting later next year.