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Recap: Apple Introduces Apple Watch, WatchKit

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Recap: Apple Introduces Apple Watch, WatchKit

· IoT Zone ·
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Well, that was interesting!

After months of speculation, today Apple confirmed what everyone already knew - wearables are in. I have to say, while their keynote wasn't the most revolutionary announcement ever made, Apple has me extremely excited about their newfound stance on openness and community.

Remember HomeKit and HealthKit? We got to hear a little bit more about their integration in iOS 8 and on the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+. Well, now, there's WatchKit - a new developer tool kit for Apple's newest device.

But before we get to WatchKit, let's quickly recap the brand new  iWatch  Apple Watch. For a more detailed breakdown, click here.

Apple Watch

(courtesy Apple)

Right off the bat, Apple has made it clear that their wearable will be more than just an accessory to your iPhone. The watch will feature dozens of native apps, as well as support for third-party ones. The design is very iOS-based, and behaves in a pretty intuitive way. 

The watch face isn't huge, so instead of a pinch-to-zoom interaction, you'll use a wheel Apple is calling the Digital Crown. There will still be plenty of interaction on the screen, but most of your zooming in and getting out of applications will take place with the Digital Crown.

Like the newly-announced iPhone 6 and 6+, the Apple Watch will also include the addition of an NFC chip and Apple Pay

The Apple Watch will start at $349 and be available early 2015.

WatchKit

One point of emphasis early into the announcement was WatchKit. Developers will be able to start integrating the Apple Watch directly into their existing mobile apps. And it seems as though this emphasis on integration will go beyond simple push notifications. At one point during the keynote, Tim Cook demonstrated Facebook and Twitter integration, as well as a half-dozen other third-party apps.

Tim Cook also took the time to bring back up some features talked about during WWDC - specifically, Handoff. Although he didn't go into too much detail, he did show a couple of examples of Apple apps taking advantage of Handoff. And since Apple has opened the Handoff API to third-party apps, it is likely developers will be able to create fully-formed apps that interact with their iOS-based counterparts.

Perhaps it wasn't the most groundbreaking keynote Apple has had, but it certainly is a relief to have Apple in the wearables game. Even when Apple hasn't been the most innovative, they push competitors to improve rapidly. Which brings me back to my original point - I am so excited about Apple. For a second consecutive keynote, Apple has reinforced a newly-adopted focus on openness with their developer community.

I can't wait to see what the community can do.


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