Well-known developer Steve Troughton-Smith, who previously was able to get real UIKit-backed apps running on Apple Watch with watchOS 2.0, now says that he has gotten native UIKit apps running on watchOS 1.0. Smith shared a video showing off the feat, which can be seen via the embed below.
Ecobee HomeKit Thermostat
Smith also notes that developers can use the PepperUICore framework to build apps like the native systems apps, allowing Watch functions like Digital Crown scrolling to function. Previously, Comex was able to hack a web browser to run on watchOS 1.0.
With watchOS 2.0, Apple is touting the ability to run truly native apps on Apple Watch, although developers have discovered that while logic code runs on the watch, raw access to the user interface is not allowed with watchOS 2.0. Native watchOS apps, however, run directly on Apple Watch, which increases performance and allows them to run more sufficiently when not paired with an iPhone. The native watch SDK can also tap directly into the watch’s hardware sensors and digital crown, much like Smith’s latest discovery.
View the video demo of UIKit apps running on watchOS 1.0 below: