native apps Stories June 2, 2016

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It’s been a while since my last Apple Watch diary piece, prompted by the experience of losing access to Apple Pay for a couple of days. Unless you get excited by straps, we haven’t seen much in the way of new developments of late, but one thing did change yesterday: that was the date from which only apps using the native SDK would be accepted into the App Store.

The sluggish performance of the Watch was our most immediate complaint when a few of us here looked back at our experience of the wearable over the year. All too often, you open an app or select a Glance and then spend several seconds – and sometimes much longer – staring at those spinning dots. Less a Glance and more an Impatient Stare.

I’d hoped that the switch to native apps might improve things notably, but so far I can see no evidence of this – which means that, of the eight different ways in which you can use the Apple Watch, I’m only using a subset of them …

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native apps Stories April 30, 2016

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Developer Nick Lee has managed to hack a working version of Windows 95 onto his Apple Watch. The utility of this is close to zero — but it is hilarious to watch. It highlights how smart wristwatches like Apple Watch are now as powerful as (if not more than) desktop computers from the turn of the century. Watch the full video of the ‘microsoftOS’ Apple Watch in action after the jump …

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native apps Stories August 6, 2015

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Apple is continuing to fine tune the upcoming watchOS update for Apple Watch ahead of the software update’s release this fall, and now registered developers can test their apps against the latest build as watch OS 2 beta 5 is now available.

The watchOS 2 update allows developers to build native (read faster) apps that do not rely as much on the iPhone for processing power, third-party complications or widgets for the watch face, and closer access to hardware like heart rate sensor data and more. For consumers, watchOS 2 adds new features like Nightstand Mode, using photos or albums as a watch face, and various app refinements.

The last watchOS 2 beta notably added support for colored complications including Activity with increased legibility on certain watch faces including Utility and Modular. We’ll explore the latest watchOS 2 beta to find other new changes coming this fall, and let us know if you discover any differences between the last beta as well. expand full story

9to5toys 

native apps Stories June 12, 2015

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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native apps Stories May 27, 2015

Big improvements will be coming to Apple Watch apps later this year, Apple SVP of Operations Jeff Williams revealed during an interview at the Code Conference. In the current version of the Watch OS software, apps need to run on the iPhone rather than the watch itself, which puts a serious damper on performance.

However, that will change this fall, Williams said, when native watch apps are finally made possible…

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native apps Stories May 10, 2015

Prominent community developer and jailbreaker Comex has posted a video showing a successful hack of Watch OS to get the device running a web browser.

In the video, Comex has managed to get the Google homepage to render on the small Watch display. Apple does not include a Safari browser app on the Watch, for obvious reasons. The video shows that scrolling around even basic web pages on a tiny display is impractical.

More importantly, the video shows that it is possible to get the Watch to run arbitrary code. This could be the first step towards a ‘jailbreak’ of the Apple Watch although Comex makes no such promises to ever release the details of his hack.

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