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Challenges and Improvements for Apple Watch App Development

The author takes a look at what challenges Apple Watch app devs initially faced, and what is going to get better with Watch OS 3.

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It has been more than a year since Apple Watch has been launched with a bang and became an instant sensation, spearheading the sales among wearables. At the time of launch, and even prior to that, most iOS developers told customers that they should not expect much from the apps on the device. Actually, during the initial stage any Apple Watch app development company mostly built their apps as the extension of their mobile apps for the iOS platform in general.

But now, after a full year passed since the launch of the device and the first round of appreciation over, this is the time for an evaluation. At the wake of the launch of Apple Watch the challenge for developers mostly consisted of addressing the performance and look and feel of the app in comparison to their iPhone counterparts. But now, Apple Watch apps tend to be smarter and absolutely optimized for the small watch screen. At least in the majority of big apps, the design challenge has been appropriately met.

But, what about the swarming sea of iOS apps waiting for a share in the app marketplace for Apple Watch? Are they equipped to meet the evolving design challenge offered by this wrist-hugging smart device? Well, most developers now need to be on their toe to meet the future value addition by Apple in respect of both design and feature set. With the latest updates of the Apple Watch, OS Apple has addressed most of the glitches and connectivity problems wooing the user experience with the device.

Now let us have a look at the key challenges involved in Apple watch development and the latest improvements.

The Watchkit Missing Features and SDK Flaws Addressed

In the beginning, developers have been plagued by the missing features in the WatchKit software. But with subsequent release Apple addressed these flaws and now, thanks to the full-bodied feature set, animating different parts of the no longer involves a challenge. From scrolling the content on the screen to splitting the screen for enacting separate elements, WatchKit now delivers full feature set.

Apple also addressed now the issues with the use of digital crown to be used as a UI element with a lot of controls. While earlier the crown could be used only for scrolling, with the updating of SDKs it can be used as a more active element in the interface.

Continuing Evolution of Apple Watch With Watch OS 3

As a wearable device, Apple Watch showed great promise for both integration and continuity of the mobile device interface and in allowing more ease for performing certain actions.

At WWDC Apple unveiled the new dock feature for Apple Watch OS 3 which added great ease in the user experience. The dock smartly allows you easy access to all the device features and apps in an intuitive and easy to access manner. 

The new Apple Watch OS 3 also revolutionized the messaging by allowing a lot of actions to boost quick messaging. For example, adding emojis and preset messages will be easier than ever now. There will also be a scribble feature allowing the user to scribble to offer a custom handwriting and scribbling effect in the message.

Watch OS 3 is great in another respect: pioneered by fitness bands sharing activities and health and fitness data with other users is already a popular feature, Watch OS 3 has integrated this feature allowing you to share the activities and visible data with friends and colleagues.

The Promise of Apple Watch 3 

At WWDC this year, Apple unveiled an array of features with the launch of Apple WatchOS 3. The all new Apple WatchOS 3 offers a whole range of performance boosts and enhanced feature set. First of all, the apps are loading much faster. There is a dock to access some favorite apps and features that show with just the pressing of a side button. The interactions while using many apps are now lot simplified requiring only tap or gesture.

But while user experience got better and fast paced, the depressing thing is that there is still not any custom watch faces. Still, there is only one modular watch face that users have to bear with. With the third-party complications allowed, now watch faces can now offer the most versatile look and feel. The users are still expecting some more design-savvy elements in the watch faces and the upcoming launch of Apple Watch 2 may address this expectation. 

At present, expectations are mounting high on the new and breathtaking range of features with the still to come to Apple Watch 2, scheduled for release September this year alongside the iPhone 7. Following this launch, we can expect standalone capabilities of Apple Watch apps independent of the iPhone. 

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Published at DZone with permission of Juned Ghanchi. See the original article here.

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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