WatchKit Explorations

Spent some time yesterday exploring ideas for an NHL app for the Apple Watch. By no means am I finished, but I figured I'd share a look into the process.

WatchKit: First Impressions

Last week, Apple unveiled WatchKit. Like David Smith, I expected the initial release to be fairly minimal. It contains support for Glances and Notifications, as expected. The ability to build iPhone-powered apps, however, was a welcome surprise. This means we can provide real functionality.

Some quick first impressions:

  • It's not surprising to see the UI/logic split between the Watch and the Phone. It's an efficient way to preserve battery life and reduce the load on the Watch. Being able to ignore the split completely while developing? Very nice.
  • The lack of AutoLayout was initially strange – Apple has been pushing it for years – but it makes sense. The screen provides very little real estate and tight control over layout ensures the best possible result for users.
  •  The ability to test notifications with multiple local JSON payloads is a nice touch.
  • I'm a bit disappointed at the initial lack of support for animations. Generating lots of individual images is a pain in the ass.

I've already put together a quick example app and have been exploring possibilities. I'll be sure to share more in the weeks to come.