Apple to Announce Apple Watch App Tool Kit for Developers

The Apple Watch app tool kit will include tools aimed at making apps perform better on the Watch to improve usability, according to a report.

Apple Watch, developers, tool kit, apps, Apple, iOS, WWDC

Apple will soon announce the availability of a new Apple Watch app tool kit for developers so that they can make improvements that help apps work better on the devices, which have been on sale since late April.

The Watch app tool kit will be unveiled at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), which will be held from June 8 to 12 in San Francisco, according to a June 3 story by The New York Times. The Watch app tool kit will include controls that developers will be able to use to gain deeper access into the watch's heart-rate and motion sensors and other parts, according to the report.

The Watch tool kit is one of several big announcements expected at WWDC, where new versions of Apple's iOS mobile operating system and OS X computer operating system are also to be unveiled.

One of the key fixes that the Watch tool kit will address is help to speed up the loading of apps on the Apple Watch, according to a June 2 report by Bloomberg. Some apps can take as long as 20 to 30 seconds to load on a Watch, making users wait for something they expect to be almost instantaneous on their smartphones and computers, the report continued. Some 4,000 apps have been built so far for the Apple Watch, with many more expected.

Kartik Chandrayana, the CEO of Twin Prime, a mobile data delivery optimization vendor, told eWEEK that app loading delays on the Apple Watch are something that must be resolved so that consumers avoid frustrations with using their watches.

"In mobile, things can load in 2 seconds or things can load in 45 seconds," said Chandrayana. "That's the problem with mobile right now."

This is why the Watch app tool kit is important—so developers can improve app performance on the new devices, he said.

Chandrayana said he hopes that the tool kit can help app developers address some of the constraints on the watches, including the small physical size and small batteries that power them.

"That is something that Apple can do," he said.

Apple very much wants developers to envision, create and offer new apps for the Apple Watch so it can grow sales for the product. In April, the company even made a special email offer to some developers allowing them to buy one of the devices quickly so they could begin their development work, according to an earlier eWEEK report.

The Apple Watch went on sale on April 24, and many model color, strap and materials combinations sold out quickly after preorders opened on April 10.

The smartwatches start at $349 for the Apple Watch Sport version, which is available with a silver or space-gray aluminum body and with wristbands in many colors.

The standard Apple Watch starts at $549 for a 38mm-wide version or $599 for a 42mm-wide model. Prices for the 38mm version can rise to $1,049, while prices for the 42mm model can go up to $1,099, depending on the watchband selected. The regular Apple Watch can be purchased with a fluoroelastomer band or one of three leather bands.

The company's luxury version of the Apple Watch is the Apple Watch Edition, with a price tag of $10,000. The most expensive version of the Apple Watch, the 18-karat gold Edition version, is priced at $17,000.

The smartwatch marketplace is getting more crowded as more device makers build and market their own styles of watches. LG, Motorola, Samsung, Sony, Apple and Huawei are among the vendors today selling smartwatches, and that field is likely to continue to grow.

Users can add the features they desire on the watch faces, including the date, a stopwatch, upcoming meetings and more. Also part of the Apple Watch is a feature called "glances," which brings the information that users want to check often and quickly right to the watch face, so they can see what's needed at just the right time, including music, heart rate, messages and more. In fact, the Apple Watch will be equipped to receive messages right on the user's wrist and allow them to respond using a tap. The built-in speaker and microphone on the Apple Watch will also allow them to receive calls.