As the smartphone watches are also getting smarter. People prefer smartwatches more than analogue or digital watches. According to a survey in recent years, the sale rate for smartwatches is more than in past years.
Many smartwatches are available on Android, but in iOS, only the Apple watch is there, which is convenient for users and preferred more. As the use of iWatch, the development of the iWatch app also increased.
iWatch app development is very trending in the iOS app development field. What if you can unlock your car just by clicking on your watch? Will it be cool, right? Many developers are trying to add innovative ideas to the iWatch to help people in different ways and make their lives easy and luxurious.
This blog is the complete information you need to gather about iWatch app development.
Design and UI
Extracting all the features apple watches are related to development, the most crucial problem designers and developers have to face are sizes; there are two different types of apple watch models:
- 38 mm screen with a 272*340 px resolution
- 42mm screen with a 312*390 px resolution
Both have a retina display screen.
An iOS developer assures that application looks good on both versions.
Also Read : 10 Best Programming Languages to Learn in 2021
Apple watch connectivity
Apple Watch connects with the iPhone through a BlueTooth connection; it has no wifi connectivity in it. It can use wifi or mobile data after tethering with an iPhone.
User interaction can occur in different ways:
- Simple touch: a tap button is a basic example
- Force touch: it is activated by applying more force than simple tapping and holding the screen. It is similar to the right click on the mouse.
- Gesture: Use swipes in different directions vertically to scroll, horizontal swipe to navigate between the pages.
- Digital crown: hardware input is used for better scrolling.
There are some limitations in user interaction they are:
- Custom gestures are not supported.
- Multi-touch is not supported.
Talking about the Apple Watch UI, there are many limitations introduced by the reduced screen size, design choices, and other cases as natural issues of the underlying hardware. We believe that some of them will change for the better in future releases of the SDK, even though it’s impossible to anticipate or forecast what will change.
The first and essential limitation is about how the user interface is implemented: via storyboards only.
Apple watch navigation
Part of an Apple Watch app offers two mutually exclusive ways of navigating among the views of an Apple Watch app:
- A hierarchical navigation model, similar to the one used in iOS, with views stacked up during navigation
- A flat page-based model, where the user can navigate between pages by swiping left and right
- Unfortunately, combining these two navigation models in the same app is not possible. One of them must be chosen and used throughout the whole app.
However, any interface controller can represent a model interface controller, which can either be a single interface controller or multiple interface controllers arranged using a page navigation model.
There are various types of UI elements mentioned below:
- date: automatically displaying the current date or time
- timer: displaying a countdown timer, automatically updated
- group: a container for one or more child components
- map: displaying a non-interactive map, optionally with max 5 annotations
The component can be used to combine Apple Watch UI elements in a vertical or horizontal layout. Elements will be naturally laid out depending on their size. Some sort of flexibility is available here, given that groups can be nested.
Sadly, the auto layout is not available. But, looking at the user interface, it is much simpler than the iOS counterpart; it’s not a significant loss.
Glances are read-only, single-page, and non-scrollable views used to show a shot of timely and relevant app-specific data. There is no user interaction allowed, except for the tap event. Touch on the glance will launch the app, providing a context to let the app show a specific interface controller.
For example, an Apple Watch weather app can glance to display the current temperature, location, etc. By tapping on it, the app opens that shows more detailed information.
Parts of an apple watch app
The development of the Apple Watch app is divided into three parts:
- The WatchKit App is the only portion of your app that runs on your Apple Watch. Currently, there is not any computation allowed by Apple to perform with it. The WatchKit app comprises only the User interface and static resources like images that users can see.
- The WatchKit Extension – The WatchKit extension is an iOS8 extension of your app that runs on the paired iPhone for computation. This extension is used to set the user interface elements like the image to view images, text for text fields. In this extension, actions are called when the users require collaborating with the WatchKit app interface. The communication between the WatchKit extension and the WatchKit app depends upon the WIFI and BlueTooth connectivity.
- The iPhone App – The WatchKit app needs to set up using an iPhone app as there are no WatchKit apps. It is also possible to apply the functions of the iPhone app into the Apple Watch app, but both apps cannot run in the same process space. So, it is not possible to access each other’s data or functions directly.
App interactions and limitations
Basically, for developers, there are three interaction types with User Interface, for example, Glance, Actionable notifications, and WatchKit apps. This shows only information on the Apple Watch.
- A glance provides you with a content context-driven overview. It behaves like a widget that displays information like calendar, news, or weather. They are non-interactive and are determined using Apple templates.
- Actionable notification allows us to view, respond or perform some action using action buttons. Two notifications types are the quick look and the long look. Users can use Kong notification by collaborating with the screen. It gives many optional actions and additional information. Users can tap on the notification to open the app and view the screen.
We all know that people prefer smartwatches, especially watches by iOS users. iWatch is very useful for many purposes you can read in this blog.
This blog will give you complete information about everything you need to know about the iWatch app development. I hope this blog will help you and give you an idea about developing your iWatch app.
I hope that this blog helps you in iWatch app development somehow, and you get the guidelines you need to develop an app.
Rahim makhani, CEO and managing partner at Nevina Infotech, Enterprise Web App & Mobile Application Development Company, helps global businesses grow by the internet of things development. His 10+ experience enables him to provide digital solutions to new start-ups based on IoT and Blockchain, and some trending technologies.