Developers hack the Apple Watch to allow apps to run on UIKit, the software bones of the smart wearable device. While Apple has provided the developer world with a software kit called “WatchKit”, WatchKit itself remote-drives another bit of software called PepperUICore which lives on top of UIKit. Apple’s own apps on the Watch, save the Weather app, do not use WatchKit. To show that it is possible – albeit not recommended for those hoping to get in to Apple’s official app store – three developers have gotten both UIKit and SceneKit apps running on the Apple Watch.
The developers who’ve done the work this week are Steve T-S, Adam Bell, and Jay Freeman. While this isn’t strictly the same as jailbreaking – it’s not, really – this is one key step to getting there. Don’t bother asking any of the parties involved to give you to the deep details, either. They’re just not gonna.
“Don’t expect technical details anytime soon,” said T-S, “all in good time! I’d like to continue work past WatchOS 2 ;-P”
— Steve T-S (@stroughtonsmith) June 12, 2015
While the native app software kit Apple provided this week isn’t quite as native as some developers had hoped it would be, it does indeed allow apps to run without the iPhone connected directly. Again, if you’re hoping to develop and app that runs on Apple Watch and also gets listed with Apple’s app store, you’re still going to need to use their SDK.
Have a peek at our article “This is Apple’s big plan for smarter Watch connectivity” for more information on the developer-aimed state of affairs Apple is presenting this week.