Apple Launches WatchKit, Its Smartwatch SDK

Apple Aims at Privacy ConcernsOn Tuesday, Apple announced the availability of its new WatchKit, a software development kit for its upcoming Apple Watch.

The new SDK allows developers to create new apps or optimize existing ones for Apple’s wrist mounted wearable, which is expected to hit shelves in 2015. The primary examples that Apple has given in terms of what Apple Watch optimized apps might look like involve adding a level of what the company is terming as intimacy: essentially allowing for on-wrist notifications and ‘Glances’, which will give user’s information that is particularly catered to their interests.

Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, explains:  “With the iOS 8.2 beta SDK, developers can now start using WatchKit to create breakthrough new apps, Glances and actionable notifications designed for the innovative Apple Watch interface and work with new technologies such as Force Touch, Digital Crown and Taptic Engine.”

With the announcement  also came a few examples of apps that will be including Apple Watch functionality on the gadget’s release, including Instagram and an American Airlines app. The former is designed to connect users more intimately with their social media photo sharing account by making notifications and replies highly accessible, while the latter provides users with itinerary cues and updates.

ESPN also has a sports app that is sure to be popular with iLife loving sports fans that can’t always find time to watch the game.

“Fans crave real-time and personal information, and the ESPN app for Apple Watch gives us the ability to deliver live scores and information for their favorite teams,” says John Kosner, executive vice president of Digital and Print Media at ESPN. “Glances provide fans with a snapshot of live games, and if there is no game taking place, they’ll get valuable game-time information or the final box score. With actionable notifications, the experience becomes even more personal, as fans receive alerts on score changes, news and more.”

Apple announced the Apple Watch along with Apple Pay and the iPhone 6 models in a September keynote. In addition to giving users easier access to apps, the smartwatch will also be compatible with Apple Pay, allowing for financial transactions to be completed via their wrist.