Apple has announced the availability of WatchKit, a set of development tools to create apps for the company's upcoming smartwatch. It comes as part of the iOS 8.2 beta SDK, which is now available to iOS Developer Program members at developer.apple.com/watchkit.
Aside from standard applications, which have their own interface and features, WatchKit enables developers to create notifications that allow users to take action right from their wrist, such as turning the lights off after they've left the house, quickly accessing flight details at the airport, and rerouting their transit when a train or bus is late, as well as incorporate Glances, which quickly show users information they care about most, for example, the latest news and sports scores, alarm system status, or the next step of a favorite recipe.
“Apple Watch is our most personal device ever, and WatchKit provides the incredible iOS developer community with the tools they need to create exciting new experiences right on your wrist,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.
WatchKit reveals that, aside from difference in sizes, Apple Watch models will also have different display resolutions. The smaller version, which has a display height of 38mm, will carry a resolution of 272 x 340 pixels, while the larger one with a display height of 42mm, gets a 312 x 390 pixel resolution.
The Cupertino-based company has already partnered with a number of developers, including Instagram, American Airlines, and ESPN, to create apps for the smartwatch. “Apple Watch allows us to make the Instagram experience even more intimate and in the moment”, said Kevin Systrom, co-founder and CEO of Instagram. “With actionable notifications you can see and instantly like a photo or react with an emoji. The Instagram news and watch list allows you to see your friends’ latest photos, follow new accounts and get a real-time view of your likes and comments."