As I Learn watchOS

watchOS series

Over the past few months I’ve been doing a series called As I Learn WatchKit trying to share my journey of building apps for Apple Watch. The series has had a much wider reach and reception than I could have ever hoped. Given this week’s announcements at WWDC it seemed like an update on what I’m planning to do was in order.

Apple has given us a tremendous set of new APIs in watchOS 2. Coming into this week I was very curious to see where they would take the Watch next. I wasn’t sure if they would have a major advancement of the capabilities of Watch Apps ready so close to the Watch’s launch—but that is exactly what they delivered.

The most delightful part of what I’ve seen this week is how pragmatic and thoughtful the approach they have taken is. Rather than introducing a radically new approach to developing Watch apps, instead they built directly on what we’ve all learned in watchOS 1 and just made everything better. With the exception of the unavoidable data management changes related to moving to native apps most of my apps could run as-is on watchOS 2. Which is a tremendous confidence builder in terms of my continued commitment to developing for the platform.

That said…I won’t be leaving my apps as-is.

watchOS 2 brings with a wide collection of new APIs that enable me to make my Watch apps tangibly more useful and performant. I’m especially excited about the possibilities around Health and Fitness made possible today. The addition of CoreMotion and HealthKit to the Watch mean that I’ll be able to do some very robust things with tracking and reporting on my users’ activity.

I’m expecting to continue to share what I learn over the next few months as I dig into these new technologies over the summer…though the name of the series needs a minor update ;)

Today I’m starting a new series called As I Learn watchOS, I hope you come along for the ride.

David Smith