The Apple Watch isn’t set to launch until early next year, but this week the company revealed a few more details about the device when it pushed out WatchKit. The new set of tools offers lots of specifics on how the Apple Watch will function once it finally hits stores.
The most exciting bit of information may be that we finally know the resolution of the Apple Watch. The smaller 38mm watch will offer a 272 x 340-pixel display, while the slightly larger 42mm option packs a resolution of 312 x 390 pixels. By comparison, the Moto 360 offers a 1.56-inch screen with a 320 x 290-pixel resolution, while LG’s G Watch R offers a respectable 1.3-inch 320 x 320-pixel display.
WatchKit also reveals how the Apple Watch will actually work. Getting quick notifications on the device will be as simple as raising your wrist for a “Short Look,” but if you keep your wrist up for a bit longer you’ll automatically get even more information from whatever app grabbed your attention. Apple calls that a “Long Look,” and it offers developers more options for customization.
Apple also notes that, for the most part, smartwatch apps are really just an extension of an iPhone app. That means people will spend significantly less time in an Apple Watch app, likely just seconds compared to the minutes you’d spend on your smartphone. However, WatchKit also confirms that native watch apps will be an option starting next year.
Finally, Apple offers a few specifics on what apps will be able to do. When it comes to gestures, you’ll be limited to pre-set swipes, taps and “force touch,” which opens a quick menu with up to four options when you press hard on the screen within any app. As for maps, specific applications will be able to grab and annotate small patches of Apple Maps with pins and images, but they won’t be interactive. That means you won’t be able to scroll around or zoom in and out, at least maybe not initially.
That’s about it for now, though it’s possible more details will surface as developers continue to dig into WatchKit.