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Apple Watch Pending Watch Kit

With the famous incipit “One more thing”, on June 2, Apple unveiled its latest product: the Apple Watch.

Meanwhile Tech Event Xebia on API SDK WatchKit using this paper, we propose you to an overview in fashion Questions / Answers of what we know or what we can expect from the new device made by the Cupertino company.

How many models for Apple Watch the end?

Sport models will be sold, and Classic Edition.

Each model is available in two sizes to fit different sizes of wrists. To multiply the possible versions, bracelets on sale will be many and interchangeable with mechanical clips.

The model “Sport” will be part of the entry level and will cost $ 349. The others will have a price between $ 500 (version “Classic” base) and a few thousand dollars (“Edit” in gold).

The hardware of the three models will be identical, except for the presence of a sapphire screen versions “Classic” and “Edit”.

How long before recharging the battery?

The battery does not last more than a day, as confirmed by the CEO of Apple during a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal. Apple believes the magnetic charger, similar in approach to that used on the MacBook (The MagSafe).

What OS is installed?

The OS of the Apple Watch, Watch called OS will be a smaller version of iOS, like iOS in 2007 was of Mac OS X.

Can the watch running alone?

Watch Apple will not be an independent device: to function fully, it imperatively require an iPhone. All models from the iPhone 5 will be supported.

Apple Watch

What choices were made by Apple for UI / UX its new device?

Watch Apple takes a touch interface 1.5 and 1.7 inches, depending on the version. The right side of the watch hosts two physical buttons: the first crown called Digital Crown, will select items on the screen, while the function of the second has not yet been explained.

The user interface, as well as the user experience is significantly different interfaces adopted on iOS and Mac OS. For example, a new policy was put in place specifically for the Apple Watch. Also, the navigation between different screens and the home screen, adopt different paradigms of classical grid of icons. The list of applications will be posted within a navigable fluid cloud in the four directions.

The most recurrent gesture will, in any case, the swipe, ie the slip of the finger in a horizontal or vertical.

With the Force Touch, the gestures detection API can make the difference between a tap and long press. In addition, the interactions will be highlighted by a motor haptic feedback. For example, the watch will produce specific vibrations in response to certain types of interaction. An example, when navigating with GPS, no need to look at his phone or his watch Vibration mean that we must turn right, 2 vibrations, it is left …

Watch apple may be used through voice commands Siri. For now, by cons, Siri APIs are not yet accessible by third application.

Glances

From the clock screen, it will be possible to access screens containing quick information, such as weather, timing or location on a map. These screens will be called Glances and the user can navigate through them using swipes. The Glances are not real applications, but pages with a very limited sense. They can recall the widgets (Today Extensions) introduced since iOS 8.

Which sensors?

As is the tradition, Apple has not released the hardware components of the next product. However, we know that Apple Watch contain several sensors like an accelerometer and a gyroscope to calculate the moves and a heart rate monitor. To save battery power, no GPS chip will be installed on the watch, which will therefore use this module on the iPhone.

Apple Pay: Will it be possible to pay with the watch?

Watch Apple will pay via Pay Apple with an NFC chip installed on board. It will be necessary to pair the watch with an iPhone (via a PIN) to unlock the payment mode. The coupling will last until the watch will be turned off or removed from the wrist. The system, in effect, periodically to check whether the device is in contact with the skin, using the heart rate monitor.

When and what can we expect from the SDK WatchKit?

The programming interface is contained in a new framework called WatchKit that will be available during the month of November. The API will:

  • Manage notifications on the watch
  • Install screens Glances
  • Install third party applications from an iPhone

Some companies, like Facebook, already have a first version of the SDK, enabling them to offer applications on the store right out of the unit.

According to official statements from Apple, WatchKit will be distributed in two stages:

  • November 2014: notification and Glances
  • Mid-2015: applications

The operation of notifications (or, more technically, Actionable Notifications) is likely similar to that already available on iOS 8. APIs will define custom actions such as “answer”, “turn off the lights”, “confirm”, etc. . These actions will be visualized as user selectable buttons on the watch screen.

Glances will represent the GUIs of moderate complexity. The information displayed will probably be determined in large part by an application on the iPhone and then sent to the Apple Watch, in the same way as Today Extensions (or widgets) iOS 8.

The rest of the SDK WatchKit, including executable applications directly from the watch, is likely to be available from the WWDC 2015.

On the more technical aspects, we have some assumptions:

  • UIKit UIKit or not? We will probably deal with new visual components that do not form part of UIKit. This process should look like the one set up for the Apple TV when the engineers of Cupertino had developed BRKit framework.
  • App Extensions: Extensions APIs App, introduced with iOS 8, should play a more important role in the communication between iPhone and Apple Watch. This API allow an independent process of an application to manage exchanges with the watch, in particular as regards the Glances.
  • Swift or Objective-C? The new SDK, like other iOS framework, will be written in Objective-C and usable Swift.

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