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Apple Watch: Five things WatchKit teaches us

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Apple Watch: Five things WatchKit teaches us

The Apple Watch might not be out until early 2015.

But the release of WatchKit, the device’s software development kit (SDK), has delivered a string of important clues about what we can expect when the device finally hits shelves.

Read on and we’ll tell you the key things you need to know, helping you impress your pals with Apple Watch knowledge down the pub this weekend.

1 Screen resolutions

apple watch big blue

Screen resolutions are vital for developers hoping to make good looking apps.

So Apple has revealed the exact screen details of each version of its watch.

The larger 42mm model comes with a 312 x 390 resolution, while the smaller 38mm edition uses a 272 x 340 display.

Apple bills these as ‘retina’ displays, although assessing their true brightness will be tough until we’ve got one on our wrist.

By contrast, LG’s G Watch features a 240 x 240 screen.

2 More screen variations incoming?

apple watch apps

WatchKit apps will be scaleable from the top left hand corner of the screen.

That means they can adjust size automatically, like dynamic websites which work across desktop, tablet and smartphone.

Interestingly, this could mean Apple is readying different screen sizes for future releases, without compromising existing apps.

It’s an intriguing prospect and should excite those for whom even the 38mm model is too big.

3 No native apps just yet

ios 8 imessage

Apple has this to say about apps being developed using WatchKit: "Developers can create innovative WatchKit apps, actionable notifications and Glances, for timely information accessible by an easy, quick look at Apple Watch.”

It also adds that devs will be able to make native watch apps "starting next year".

That means any apps being developed now will have to work in conjunction with an iPhone.

Apple seems to be taking a baby steps approach, keeping third parties out while it refines its own native apps.

4 iOS 8.2 will make everything tick

ios 8 healthkit

WatchKit is part of iOS 8.2’s beta release.

The next version of iOS is expected to herald the release of the Apple Watch in 2015 and should make the operating system more stable after a string of high profile failings since it launched at the start of autumn.

Developers using iOS 8.2 will be able to create watch apps, with the hope that there are a slew of add–ons ready in the App Store at launch.

5 Glances detailed

apple watch twitter

Glances are essentially in–depth notifications.

They deliver information such as sports scores and headlines at timely moments.

These will be read–only and must fit the screen. That means there’ll be no need for additional scrolling and no interactive elements.

Expect these to become more developed as the Apple Watch’s popularity grows.

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