Apple WatchKit third-party apps require connected iPhone to function, ‘fully native’ apps coming later in 2015

“Apple has just released a flood of information about how apps on Apple Watch work, through the WatchKit framework,” Benjamin Mayo reports for 9to5Mac.

“There are three types of integrations currently possible: WatchKit apps, Glances and actionable notifications,” Mayo reports. “Although they sound similar, the development process for WatchKit apps are actually very different to that of normal iOS apps for iPhone and iPad, as much of the computation is done on the connected iPhone rather than rendered by the watch’s hardware itself.”

Mayo reports, “Apple has announced that fully-native Watch apps will debut later in 2015, which will likely loosen these restrictions somewhat.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Developers start designing apps for Apple Watch; WatchKit now available to developers – November 18, 2014


  1. There may be “fully native” (which I take to be “autonomous”) apps on Apple Watch, but anything that is remotely heavy on processing (such as Siri) will require an iPhone to be nearby. And that makes perfect sense for the first few gens of Apple Watch. Apple Watch needs to be as energy efficient as possible, so it can be a small as possible. iPhone has the processing (and battery) power. The “magic” will be in making users think Apple Watch is doing it all, and “forgetting” they have an iPhone nearby.

    This is nothing new. iPhone often passes its processing load to the Apple’s servers, which have comparatively unlimited processing power (and energy). But most users think iPhone is doing it all, and “forget” how it really works. Apple is very good at magic.

    1. Judge Judy Koh is probably salivating for that class action suit, as a follow up to the latest suit for Apple iPhone to Android users upset their iMessage texts weren’t being forwarded to their new Android phones because they forgot to unregister their phone number with Apple before selling their iPhones.

  2. Not sure I will own an Apple watch, but if I do I’d like to see an app from Chevron (my fuel of choice) that did just one thing: When tapped it would provide directions to the nearest station that takes my Chevron credit card. Simple, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve driven out of my normal stomping grounds and find myself, needle on E, looking for a Chevron gas station. That would be a useful watch app.

    1. Or, you could get CarPlay and use SIRI. SIRI, give me directions to Chevron Gas Station?

      Currently, I just go straight to my iPhone. Still stuck with UConnect for now. Planning on swapping out factory radio for a CarPlay Head Unit. Can’t wait.

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