Apples 2015 Worldwide Developers Conference kicked off Monday in San Francisco with a preview of the new Apple Watch operating systemthe first major software updateenabling developers to build apps that are native to the smartwatch.
Called watchOS 2, the Cupertino, Calif.-based company said the new operating system available immediately to developers will give them the tools to create faster and more powerful apps running natively on Apple Watch. In his keynote address to the conference, Apple CEO Tim Cook said watchOS 2 will allow developers more time to create more apps for the watch that will change the world. According to Cook, developers have already created thousands of apps for Apple Watch.
Using WatchKit for watchOS 2, Apple officials say developers can take advantage of Apple Watchs innovative hardware features including the heart rate sensor as well as software APIs to build new app experiences. From the user perspective, Apples Vice President of Technology Kevin Lynch told the conference that it will now be much easier to use the watch accelerometer and other sensors with native apps as well as Apple HealthKit, which synchronizes data from various health and fitness apps to work as a central dashboard for users.
For example, Lynch said the Strava GPS run and ride tracker can more accurately track a users heart rate while running or riding a bike by using data from the heart rate sensor and accelerometer. In addition, users can leverage SiriApples intelligent personal assistant and knowledge navigatorto start specific fitness workouts.
We are thrilled with the feedback were getting from Apple Watch customers, and after just a few weeks of availability were excited for developers to start building native apps for watchOS 2, said Lynch.
The iOS 9 SDK beta including WatchKit for watchOS 2 is available immediately for iOS Developer Program members here.
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