Apple Releases iOS 8.2 Beta and WatchKit Tools for App Developers

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Apple released iOS 8.1.1 yesterday for all users. And today the Cupertino based tech company made available iOS 8.2 Beta for developers along with Xcode 6.2 with WatchKit tools. As a matter of fact, Watchkit is a set of tools that can be used to develop apps for Apple’s yet-to-be launched Smartwatch.

Apple Releases iOS 8.2 Beta and WatchKit Tools for App Developers

The build number of iOS 8.2 Beta is 12D436. If it strikes you why Apple posted the iOS 8.2 Beta just a day after the release of iOS 8.1.1, well, iOS 8.1.1 only consists of not-so-important fixes and performance improvements for two specific devices; iPhone 4 and iPad 2.

Apple wants all eyes to be fixed at iOS 8.2 Beta. The Beta allows developers to begin testing their apps for the upcoming wearable device framework. Honestly, this is not something that any of us has expected; we thought iOS 8.2 will start from where iOS 8.1 would end. But it seems Apple is currently more focused on its upcoming wearable device.

Two important thing about iOS 8.2 Beta are;

  • It doesn’t have any mentionable feature.
  • It allows them to develop two optional Smartwatch interfaces; the facility is called companion experience.

According to Apple, iOS 8.2 allows developers to give its Smartwatch users access to data and functionality related to their iOS app. Since the Smartwatch ecosystem is the primary one, the primary interface will be a Watch app. It will give users seamless and instant access to your iOS app’s content without having to open the original iOS app. This, in a sense, is a way of syncing so iOS app content become accessible to Apple’s Smartwatch users.

Developers are able to create two optional interfaces. One of them is called Glance. The USP of Glance is agility. Users only need to tap a Glance on the Smartwatch and the Watch app will be immediately launched. Glance displays information which users can quickly apprehend.

Another Watch interface is called custom notification. Custom notification interface is also non-interactive just like Glance. However, if the developer registers his app interactive notifications, the custom notification interface will come with action buttons. Otherwise, the interface will show local or remote notification information, which will get delivered to the original iOS app.

As for the Watchkit tool, it lets developers create two types of applications. One type is the standard applications and the other would enable users execute tasks right from their wrist. They would be able to turn the lights off after leaving the house. If they need to quickly check flight details at the airport or follow a different route, they could do that from the Smartwatch in their wrist.

Apple’s Senior VP of global marketing Philip Schiller said “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.”

There will be several watch models. Not only they will be different in size. They will also have different display resolution. The smaller version will have a 38mm display and will feature a resolution 272 x 340p. The bigger one will have 42mm display size and 312 x 390p resolution.

WatchKit reveals all these details, so developers could bear in mind difference in Apple Watch models and develop apps accordingly. In the forthcoming days, Apple will release more Beta versions of iOS 8.2. We’ll then get a better and more comprehensive idea of Apple’s Smartwatch interface.

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