Well-known developers Steve Troughton-Smith, Saurik and Adam Bell have managed to hack the Apple Watch on watchOS 2 to run truly native apps on the device. Although Apple is advertising native apps with watchOS 2, it isn’t as ‘native’ as some developers wanted or expected. The logic code now runs on the watch, but raw access to the user interface is still not allowed on watchOS 2.
This means frameworks like UIKit cannot be used to draw truly custom UI. Instead developers must rely on the same techniques employed with current WatchKit apps that revolve around image sequences to create more interesting effects.
In the demo, video embedded below, the team managed to get a fully interactive 3D object running on the Apple Watch powered by Apple’s SceneKit framework.
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Scene Kit is just used as an example here — any UI framework available to developers on iPhone and iPad would be accessible.
Jailbreak hacker Comex has previously achieved something similar on the original Watch OS although it did not seem as fully fleshed. The trio say they will release technical information on how this was achieved in the future once watchOS 2 ships.
watchOS 2 is due to be released in the fall and requires paired iPhones to update to iOS 9.