Apple has released its first update to the WatchKit SDK which finally allows developers to build fully native apps for the Apple Watch.
Previously, developers were required to run their code on the paired iPhone to render their apps and push it to the Watch. With this change, they’ll be able to build apps that are directly executed on the Watch. Users found this tethered approach meant apps ran much slower.
App developers can also add complications to the watch face directly, to add information like stocks and sports game scores.
Native apps also mean the Watch can perform functions without a paired iPhone, and will be able to use known WiFi networks to communicate online when away from the phone.
Developers can also now access the microphone, accelerometer, TapTic vibrations in their Watch apps, as well as play video directly on the device.
Tim Cook said that the company is as excited about native apps for the Apple Watch as much as it was at the launch of the App Store.
A beta of the updated WatchKit SDK will be available from today.