Apple has announced that WatchKit, the software development kit (SDK) for the Apple Watch will be coming in two parts — actionable notifications and glances (widgets) this month, and full-on native apps next year. So what does that mean? After combing through everything Apple has shown and said to date, developer David Smith has shared his expectations:
Next June at WWDC I then expect we will receive the tools necessary to build out more fully capable applications. Just like we have seen with iOS I'd guess this will be a progressive expansion of capability with each successive year. Just as early iPhone OS apps were severely constrained to save battery life, we'll probably see strict limits on what types of apps we can build initially. We are essentially resetting the battery life equation with this new device. So no background processing or multitasking for a while (with the possible exception of music/audio playback).
Likening the Apple Watch to the iPhone is a good parallel to draw. The original iPhone did some unique things, but in total it did far less than the Mac when it first launched, and was dependent on the Mac for much of what it did do. The Apple Watch will do some unique things as well, but in total it will still do less than the iPhone when it first launches.
Over time, the iPhone not only gained its independence as a device but as a platform. The Apple Watch will likely be the same.
That said, Smith is still excited about what he'll be able to do this month and next year both. So am I.