iWatch app development: Limitations and challenges await

The iWatch is the latest device from Apple and the first the company releases in the wearable technology category. This new smartwatch it’s not the first to arrive the market as other similar devices based on Android OS have been released before. The big difference is that the iWatch is from Apple, a company with an incredibly loyal and large user base, and with the smartwatch being regarded, as the perfect companion for the iPhone is almost sure that the adoption by consumers will be wide and solid.

For app developers looking to do iWatch app development if they already have experience developing for iOS the iWatch should present no major problems as the apps for this device are built in the same way that any other iOS apps. Having said that, developers should be aware that the app development possibilities are initially limited and they will not have full access to all the hardware and sensors present in the device. Currently developers using the WatchKit SDK can basically use it to just extend iOS apps to the iWatch but no access to some of the hardware like the digital crown, microphone or gestures has been made available yet to third party developers, the reason given by Apple for this is to keep battery drainage to a minimum and avoid developers making apps with annoying user experience.


Long before the release of the actual device Apple started distributing the WatchKit SDK. Which developers can download and use to do iWatch app development. Its worth to outline that under the current scenario there is no possibility to actually develop native apps for the iWatch as the device is –for now- a sort of only a second screen for the iPhone, this makes it really useful in a way that enables users to just have a quick glance to their wrist to access relevant information or notifications on calls, emails, messages, etc. For third party apps the watch does not render animations or does any processes by itself but it gets everything pre rendered and processed in the iPhone which then pushes the data to the iWatch over a Bluetooth connection.


Battery life was one of the main if not the most critical concern of Apple when designing the iWatch, as it is highly important for it to be able to get through a whole day. The company official statement regarding this is that the battery has a duration of 18 hours which means that users will have to plug it every night if they want to use the device as a they would with any normal watch: everyday, all day.

But battery life of the iWatch itself its not the only concern, given that the device needs an iPhone to work and a big percentage of all the processes that the iWatch needs happen actually on the iPhone a fair concern is how big of an impact will the device have on the battery life of the iPhone when its paired with one. As Apple put high relevance on making the battery life of the iWatch up to 18 hours to ensure it can go through a whole day of use without powering off its then a fair question to make if the iPhone will be able to also keep up with this extra battery drainage through a whole day, because in the end the iWatch battery may last 18 hours but its no point to it if it renders itself pretty much useless once its loses connection with an iPhone .