Apple released the WatchKit SDK as part of its iOS 8.2 beta for developers looking to build apps that work with the Apple Watch, which is due to be made available early in 2015.
WatchKit was first announced in September and includes tools and APIs for developers to exploit the capabilities of the Apple Watch.
As well as apps, developers can use WatchKit to create actionable notifications and Glances, for a quick view of timely information, such as sport scores or recipe steps.
The WatchKit developers’ site provides programming guides, human interface information and templates.
Examples of actionable notifications include enabling users to turn off lights once they have left their house, quickly accessing flight details or rerouting a journey when public transport is disrupted.
Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior VP of worldwide marketing, said WatchKit provides the iOS developer community with “the tools they need to create exciting new experiences right on your wrist”.
In separate news, Apple stopped labelling apps that don’t cost anything to download as ‘FREE’ in its App Store. Instead, the term ‘GET’ is now being used on the download button for non-paid apps.
The change is likely to be related to the fact that many so-called free apps actually support in-app purchases, which can end up leading to large bills — often if children make payments without the knowledge of the bill payer.
Back in January, Apple reached a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in which it agreed to reimburse parents to the tune of $32.5 million for in-app purchases made by children without their knowledge.
More recently, Google agreed to pay at least $19 million to parents whose children have run up large bills in Google Play via in-app charges, while Amazon has been sued by the FTC in relation to its Appstore purchase policies.