Apple says developers will get their hands on the Apple Watch SDK next month, with an aim to get native apps out by this fall. As of now, only Apple’s own watch apps run natively on the company’s wearable, while third-party apps are relegated to running straight off the iPhone. The change promises to increase performance, and make Apple’s first smartwatch more powerful.
One of the biggest knocks against the Apple Watch was that performance was a little slow, especially when operating third-party apps. By releasing an SDK, Apple will enable developers to build apps that run directly on the Apple Watch while also providing access to more of the device’s hardware, such as the watch’s sensors. Apple operations chief, Jeff Williams, specifically talked about how deeper access could bolster fitness apps in particular.
How these native apps will affect battery life remains to be seen. The Apple Watch’s battery wound up being better than expected, though that could change once developers gain deeper access to the device’s capabilities. At the very least, users should expect zippier performance, but if that comes at the cost of battery, I’m not so sure it’ll go over well.
We should hear much more about the Apple Watch SDK during WWDC next month.