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November 19, 2014

Apple Watch guidelines released for designers

Written By Rebecca Larkin
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In the early hours of this morning Apple released the first Software Development Kit for the Apple Watch. Essentially, this allows developers across the world to begin working on solutions for the device before it’s release in early 2015.

Apple described it as allowing developers to “start creating experiences for Apple Watch that reimagine, extend and enhance the functionality of iPhone apps.” And we were definitely inspired to get started!

WatchKit apps have two parts. Firstly, the WatchKit extension will run simultaneously on a linked iPhone so when an app is launched on Apple Watch and user interactions take place, the iPhone automatically updates the user interface (UI) on both devices. Secondly, a set of UI resources are installed on the Apple Watch to create interactions on the watch itself.

For us the Apple Watch is exciting because it provides three opportunities to extend the iOS apps we currently provide for clients.

  • ‘Apple Watch apps’ will allow us to seamlessly integrate Watch apps into any current app projects. Although Watch apps will provide a completely different user experiences from our current iOS app offering, they will work hand-in-hand to create a more holistic experience for the end user. As with all designs for this device, we will be focusing on making communications incredibly personal.
  • ‘Glances’ will allow our clients to quickly push users information from sources users have personally selected to be most interesting to them. This will be great accompaniment for our current health apps, enabling quick displays of information such as heart rate stats whilst a user is exercising.
  • ‘Actionable notifications’ will enable clients to send users reminders from the current iOS apps more efficiently. Medication alerts will now appear on the screen of the watch and allow users to quickly navigate through to the app if they require more information.

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This morning our designer, Ryan has been experimenting with a few of our current iOS mobile apps and how they would work on Apple Watch.

We are keen to start developing fully native apps for Apple Watch and can’t wait to see them on the physical devices next year.

If you have a project idea for Apple Watch we’d love to hear from you. For more information on sizing specifics etc., see Apple’s developer library post.