We had a lot of fun with the first night having the Apple Watch in-hand. Ben Morrow built a little presentation set up and demoed the interactions on an actual device. He also showed the different features of the iPhone companion app. Then he quickly built an app in Xcode and showed how to run it on a development device.

Saddle House, a live/work space in SF focused on Apple Watch, provided snacks and drinks. Thanks guys!

Tips

  • Use the San Francisco font as much as possible because it automatically adjusts the kerning and weight at small sizes
    • If you use a custom font, it take longer to render
  • It is hard for a designer to design using only the simulator because the fonts look really big. However, once you get it on your wrist, then the interface will look much smaller
  • Can have up to 20 glances installed at one time
  • Watch design specifications for font sizes: Meng To's Sketch File

Questions

  • How can you uninstall an app?
    • Tick off the switch in the iPhone companion app
    • Press and hold an icon on the watch Home screen and the icons will start jiggling. Tap the 'x' to remove (similar to the iPhone)
  • Can your app have settings in the iPhone companion app?
    • Yep!
    • When apple fist let developers build apps, they encouraged developers to put their settings into the Settings app. As time has gone on, that seems less relevant, but it depends on if it is an advanced feature tweak or if it is something that a user might want to change frequently.
    • Follow up: can you include a message in there?
      • Probably, as long as it is short
  • Can you have an app that is just for the watch an not the phone?
    • No, as a developer, you must have an iPhone app that does something -- even if it is only for a tutorial for your watch app or configuration. The way a user gets the watch app is to download the phone app and it automatically installs on the paired watch. 
  • Can the watch show your current location?
    • Yes, there is a glance that does that. For a third party developer Apple makes it easy to include a map, but it is only a picture. The user can tap on the map picture to be taken to the full Maps app where they can zoom and pan around.
  • Can you start something on the watch and finish on the phone?
    • Yep, switching is pretty seamless if the developer has enabled handoff. For example, you can start a phone call on the watch and then switch to the phone if you want some privacy.
  • Can apps make use of the heart rate monitor?
    • Not yet in realtime. The watch does however sample heart rate every 10 minutes, so use HealthKit to access the historical data.
    • Similarly, you can't have access to the motion data, the digital crown scrolling, or gestures (pinch, pan, long press)
  • Can you reorder the glances on the watch?
    • Nope, have to use the iPhone companion app.
  • Is there a way to keep the screen on?
    • No. It turns off after 15 seconds. Apple's Workout app though has a private API that allows it to stay on while you're in the middle of a workout.
  • Can an app get a long press or only the system?
    • An app cannot capture a force touch gesture. It only launches a menu with up to four items.
    • Since there is no gesture recognizer, you also cannot capture a long press.
  • What's the best 3rd party app you've seen so far.
    • Carrot is pretty sweet, the only problem is you have to start your workout on the phone first
    • 7 Minute Workout Challenge is pretty cool because they figured out how to have sound without running on the phone first.
    • Hotel tonight is pretty cool because it immediately shows you the rooms around you and you can book one
    • Flipboard and Twitter tried to do too much. you don't really want to read paragraphs on the watch screen.
    • Pandora and Uber are both awesome, but they take a long time to load
  • Does the sound play through the watch?
    • Not for music, that plays through the phone. But you can have bluetooth headphones that work only with the watch if you have stored music in Apple's Music app from the companion iPhone app.
  • How much storage does the Watch have?
    • 8GB total, and you can use up to 2GB for your music
  • Do apps have access to the NFC technologies?
    • Starwood Hotels is using NFC to allow users to unlock their room door at W Hotels. Unfortunately, they have a special partnership and us regular developers don't have access to that API yet.
  • Is there a volume control?
    • Yes, on the Music glance you can adjust the volume with a slider control
  • Is there a range that the phone needs to be near to the watch for it to work?
    • Yes, it operates over bluetooth. However, the newest bluetooth is actually quite good and you can be across your house from the phone and still take a phone call on your watch. The watch also has WiFi which it uses some of the time, but it all happens behind the scenes.
  • Is there a progress bar control?
    • No, you can use an image and tell it when to go to the next frame. Or you can change the width of a group element.
  • Does owning an apple watch drain your phone battery?
    • Yes, because they are communicating over bluetooth all the time, there is a battery impact for the phone.
  • Does every app need a watch app?
    • No. There are a lot of apps that simply don't make sense on the watch. 
  • Does the watch help you use your phone less?
    • Yes. It allows you to quickly review notifications and decide if you need to act further. This allows you to be more present in the moment.

Video

Slides

Upcoming events

Apple Watch Hackathon
June 13

Tweets

Photos

Photo by Giacomo Frimmel

Photo by Giacomo Frimmel

Photo by Jerome Calvo

Photo by Jerome Calvo