Introduction

For last few years, people have been using watches to conveniently see the time. Now it is time to extend the basic watch by adding the ability to receive notifications, to talk to Siri, and to use as a fitness activity tracker.

The Apple Watch application needs the presence of an iPhone for usage of the third party app. App developers have created this third party app with two separate bundles: the WatchKit app and the WatchKit extension. The WatchKit app runs on the Apple Watch and the extension runs on the iPhone. Apps only contain storyboards and resources for the user interface, while extensions contain code for managing the UI and responding to user interactions.

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WatchKit Extension Options

WatchKit App

It is a full interactive application that users can launch from the home screen and make actions. It mainly provides a way to view or interact with your data.

The WatchKit app only contains storyboard and resources, and its layout is different from the original Apple Watch app. All user interaction in the Watchkit app is executed through extensions and is run on the user’s iPhone. It can coordinate with the iOS app as needed to execute any task.

Glance

Glance is available to display quick data for the user. The user cannot interact with it; when something is clicked or swiped, the watch app opens.

It is useful for displaying the current day’s widget information and some basic information for the user.

It is non scrollable and read only data, so the information must fit in entire Glance interface space.
To add Glance to your Watch app, you need to create a separate executable for it. All other features, such as classes and interface, are similar to the WatchKit app.

Notification

There are two types of notification, local and remote, that work with the paired user’s iPhone. Initially only the basic details are loaded, and based on the user’s interactions, a more detailed view is shown.

The detailed notification interface can be customized to change graphics and arrange information.
Since iOS 8, action enabled notifications are also available, allowing users to  respond to any event, such as a meeting invitation. Users can direct accept or reject invitations from the notifications.

Xcode Configuration

Xcode 6.3 is required to add a WatchKit target.
To create WatchKit app, the existing app is necessary. Add a new target for the WatchKit app, which contains the bundle for the WatchKit app and extension.

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If you plan to implement Glance and Notification, select the checkboxes that says to include them in the window. It will add additional files for the Notification and Glance scenes.
Click on Finish. The xcode configures the targets for the WatchKit app and extension. Based on the bundle ID of the iOS project, it will automatically configure the bundle ID for both new targets.
Now you know how to make the most of your watch with WatchKit!

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Source: zymr

This article was authored by Gunjan Ribadiya, who is a Senior Software Engineer at Zymr.

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