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A good start, but developers want more access to the Apple Watch

Fred O'Connor | June 16, 2015
A software update to the Apple Watch's OS gave third-party developers access to the device's sensors this week, fulfilling a request they've had since Apple unveiled the wearable.

Developers also want access to some of the novel features in the watch's display, like its Touch Force screen, said Hamid Palo, mobile lead at Trello, which develops a Web-based project management app of the same name. Developers could use the screen to add drag-and-drop functions to their apps, he said.

Other developers think Apple could improve some of the watch's hardware and, in the process, the apps that run on it.

For Maximo Cavazzani, CEO of Etermax, which makes the game Trivia Crack, the developer capabilities added in the software update, while welcomed, were also expected since the features are already available to Apple developers.

The watch, however, is reaching the limitations of its hardware and a software update may not necessarily get around that issue, Cavazzani said.

Increased battery life, like the ability to run the watch for a week on a single charge, would have been welcomed news, but the device's hardware doesn't allow it, he said.

Adding more sensors to the Apple Watch would be helpful to developers, said Sergio Prado, who co-developed the fitness app BodBot.

While the existing sensors "offer the core of what we need," Google's rival Android Wear platform does support more sensors, he said.

With a humidity sensor on the Apple Watch, for example, BodBot could better customize a workout by suggesting that a user cut back on a cardiovascular workout if the humidity is too high, he said.

 

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