Get your CLOCK out, you coders: Apple emits Watch dev kit

Time to get to work making Tim Cook et al even wealthier

Apple hasn't yet even set a date for the sale of its smart watch: but it's keen to have a full suite of apps ready at the launch – and it would like it if other people developed these at their own expense. hence it has put out an SDK.

The SDK, dubbed WatchKit, is available now, and it includes a Watch emulator to run software on.

Apple says the kit can be used to build three types of applications for the wrist-puter: standalone applications; Glances, which display limited information such as timer countdowns; and Actionable Notifications, which require the user to actually do something, like turning off an alarm.

"Apple Watch is our most personal device ever, and WatchKit provides the incredible iOS developer community with the tools they need to create exciting new experiences right on your wrist," said Philip Schiller, Apple's iSpin-doctor.

"With the iOS 8.2 beta SDK, developers can now start using WatchKit to create breakthrough new apps, Glances and actionable notifications designed for the innovative Apple Watch interface and work with new technologies such as Force Touch, Digital Crown and Taptic Engine."

In a video accompanying the SDK, Apple suggests developers spend the bulk of their time developing standalone applications for the expensive strap-on.

Apple has learned its lesson from the iPhone launch, it seems. Back in 2007 when the first Jesusmobe hit the streets, Apple had it locked down so that no third-party code would run; it took over a year for the iGiant to relent and allow developers to get in on the game.

Now Apple has signed up partners for the Watch, including sports channel ESPN, American Airlines, and Instagram, all of whom are developing code to run on the gizmo.

"The American Airlines app on Apple Watch reminds you when it's time to head to the airport via pre-trip notifications, and provides updates for gate changes, connecting gate info upon arrival, and will notify you when boarding begins if you're not at the gate yet," said John Gustafson, American Airlines VP of Digital. "Travelers can also ask 'Where am I?' in-flight and get real-time location information at 30,000 ft." ®

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