Apple Inc, in an short and crisp announcement on Friday, has asked developers to build only native apps, that run directly on the Apple Watch without much help and support from the iPhone. Apple would only accept native apps submitted to App Store starting June 1, 2016.
Apple first introduced their new product line-up, the Apple Watch in April last year, and has since sold millions of devices, amounting to about 16 per cent of the wearable market share in the world. When the smartwatch was first launched with a new custom OS, the WatchOS, the SDK version 1.0 allowed the developers to build apps as extensions to the Native apps on the iPhone. These extensions would exchange data from the iPhone using the native app and then display the information on your beloved Apple Watch.
But, this made the extensions slow and sluggish because it would use the data services of the iPhone to perform the task, thus hampering the user experience. Apple took the matter very seriously and introduced the WatchOS 2 last September, which allowed the developers to not only build native apps for the Apple Watch, but also make use of the myriad of sensors and the digital crown to build more dynamic user experiences.
But, the added WatchConnectivity feature was the highlight of the WatchOS 2, as it provided a lightning fast connection to the iPhone, allowing for seamless data and file transfers. But, using NSURLSession technology, the Apple Watch can now communicate directly with known wifi hotspots using the new Tetherless Wi-Fi feature in watchOS 2. So, the iPhone data services are no longer required to run the Apple Watch exclusively.
In light of these events, Apple is now asking developers to make only Native Apps using the WatchOS 2 SDK for the Apple Watch, and upgrade their offering to a better user experience, as it will not be accepting any non-native apps starting June 1.
So, all WatchOS developers out there, you better start working and updating your apps, before June 1, so that Apple doesn’t kick your app out of the App Store.
Also, if any Apple Watch users are reading this, How has your experience been with the Apple Watch? Is it worth spending the bucks Apple is asking for?