Apple has announced that it will only be accepting native watchOS apps for Apple Watch after June 1, 2016. New titles must be built using the latest watchOS 2 SDK, which allows them to run directly on the Watch without the iPhone’s resources.
Apps built with the watchOS 1 SDK rely on the iPhone’s processor and other components — just like any other iPhone app — with the Apple Watch simply acting as a secondary interface. But with the watchOS 2 SDK, developers can built native apps, which is what Apple prefers.
This is great news for Apple Watch owners. Native apps tend to be better performers than those powered by the iPhone, so this should mean that we’ll enjoy smoother watchOS experiences after June 1. It also means you’ll be able to use apps without a connected iPhone.
It’s interesting that Apple has decided to enforce this change just two weeks before WWDC 2016. We will almost certainly get a sneak peek at the next watchOS update during the event, so Apple could be planning new features and capabilities that will improve native apps.
WWDC will also bring previews of iOS 10, the next-generation of OS X (which could be renamed macOS), and improvements to tvOS. If we’re lucky, Apple will also announce a hardware refresh for Apple Watch, but we will likely have to wait until September for that.
If you’re a watchOS app developer who is yet to upgrade to the watchOS 2 SDK, you can find out all about it on Apple’s Developer website by following the source link below.