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With Apple Watch OS update, apps are about to get a whole lot more capable

Fred O'Connor | June 9, 2015
Expect Apple Watch apps to gain a lot more functionality now that Apple is opening its hardware sensors to third party developers and allowing apps to run natively on the device.

Developers will be able to add features that they haven't yet been able to consider, said Hamid Palo, mobile lead at Trello, which develops a Web-based project management app of the same name. He could see developers creating a watch app that uses HomeKit, Apple's smart home platform, to turn on the lights in a room as people walk around their house.

By letting the Apple Watch handle app logic instead of depending on the iPhone, people will see apps responding to commands more quickly, said Palo.

Right now, information is exchanged between the watch and iPhone via Bluetooth, an experience that results in some apps loading slowly. Letting apps run natively on the watch will eliminate the need to communicate with an iPhone, shaving as much as two seconds off the time it takes to complete a transaction, Palo said.

Assuming Apple Watch apps are designed for transactions that take 10 seconds, that's a 20 percent difference, which in app terms is huge, he said,

"More people will use watch apps because the experience will be that much better," Palo said.

 

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