Apple announces WatchKit

With one of the most innovative developer communities of any major electronics manufacturer, Apple is known for giving developers the tools they need to create products that are designed specifically to give users of the iPad, iPhone and iPod rich, engaging experiences.

With their upcoming Apple Watch, what many (especially those at Apple itself) are calling their most personal device ever created, they’ve kept up that trend by giving developers WatchKit, a set of tools that will help them to develop apps well before Apple’s new Watch becomes available.

Philip Schiller, the senior vice president of worldwide marketing for Apple, stated at the release of WatchKit that “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.”

To that end, WatchKit will allow developers to give future users of the Apple Watch the ability to perform an incredible variety of activities simply by touching or using voice commands that control the device on their wrist, a la Dick Tracy, the comic book superhero-cop from the 1930s.

Part of that includes something that Apple calls Glances, which will allow users to quickly get the information that interests them the most, like news reports, sports news or even the next step in a recipe or do-it-yourself project.

For example, Glances will give a user updated sports information the second it happens, alerting them to changes in the game’s score, the final score and, if no game is being played, news about their favorite sport.

There’s already been an app made for American Airlines that will remind the user to start heading to the airport to make it on time, give them information about gate changes and even alert them when boarding has begun in the actual airline terminal. Even more amazing is that, even at a cruising altitude of, say, 35,000 feet, they can get real-time location information.

One thing to note is that the Apple Watch will require the user to have an iPhone 5 or later model in order to function correctly. The new WatchKit developer package was made available on November 18th for the iOS Developer Program and can be accessed at developer.apple.com/watchkit. Fully native apps for the Apple Watch will be available to develop starting in 2015.

The buzz around this new Apple product is extremely strong and you can expect developers to bring out their best so that, when it finally launches, the Apple Watch will be as big or possibly even bigger a phenomenon than the iPad or iPhone.

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