The progression of technology is slowly shifting the devices from in front of us to actually on us. Long gone are the days of desktops and bulky computers, say hello to smartphones and smart wearables! Technology is getting faster, better and even smaller. We are not that far from having fancy Mission Impossible gadgets (although, Google glasses do come close). Apple has been a technological front, offering fancy advanced gadgets in slick futuristic shells and the new Apple watch is one of these interesting gadgets that puts a whole lot of power on your wrist. For a fancy futuristic watch, you need an equally futuristic operating system that powers the device. Without the OS, the watch is just a very expensive paper weight. This is where the watchOS comes into the picture. The watchOS is the operating system that is designed to power the Apple Watch. The Apple Watch comes loaded with numerous features that range from answer phones calls to checking your e-mails and even having the watch remind you your fitness goals. The newer OS even includes Force Touch, Haptic Feedback, Digital Crown, Glances, etc. watchOS is completely different from the Apple iOS (which is the operating system for the Apple Phones) and requires learning a whole new set of tools if you want to develop applications for the Apple Watch. However, fret not. Learning development for watchOS is not that difficult with a few right tools on hand. I’ve have gone through the numerous online resources that cater to help developers delve into the land of watchOS development and listed the 9 best resources among them.
1. Apple Watch Docs First and foremost, one of the best resources to learn how to develop for the Apple Watch is always the source provided by the company– in this case Apple. The Apple Watch Docs are one of the best resources for developers to refer to when one starts learning the fancy new technology. The docs cover best practices, the background and even any updates made to the OS. The docs offer guides, tutorials, notes and even coding examples that you can use. It offers over 971 different documents that address different issues or topics, all related to the Apple Watch or Apple watchOS.
2. Developing for Apple Watch This might seem the same as the first resource listed on the list, but this one is actually different. This is not exactly the watchOS documentation, instead it’s the actual programming guides for the Apple Watch. This resource is perfect if you want to skip all the background information and directly get into the programming aspect.
3. As I Learn watchOS – David Smith Well, you aren’t the only one on their journey to learning the watchOS, there are many other developers struggling to understand how programming differs for the Apple Watch. This is what makes this resource a great one to follow. This blog/informative post features David Smith’s journey on learning watchOS from scratch. You definitely will be able to pick up a few things, including how to avoid certain mistakes during coding. Similarly, the step by step process of working out coding problems, bugs and issues can be a great way to get started with programming.
4. WatchKit tutorial: Creating a simple Watch App Skipping all the formalities, this resource gets directly to the nitty gritty of making an application. It goes over the WatchKit (app development kit for watchOS), including a quick overview of the WatchKit, its controllers, and quickly develops a demo app. The website also includes the complete code that was used to create the project. It’s a simple watchOS tutorial, but it’s a great one to get started with.
5. Apple Watch Development This Apple Watch course by Yohann Taieb on Udemy is an excellent course to learn watchOS as it is not only limited to watchOS but also includes iOS 9, Apple Watch OS 2 (watchOS), XCode 7 and Swift 2 and ObjC. The course is also designed for everyone regardless of their experience, so it’s a great tutorial for beginners as well as advanced developers. The course also includes useful Apple Watch apps built from scratch, as well as the final source codes.
6. Create a Native Apple Watch App for watchOS 2 This watchOS tutorial is geared towards watchOS 2 and how the new APIs and functionality can be used to create native Apple Watch applications. It includes four major features of the latest updates in the watchOS 2 - picker interface elements, native animations, and alert controllers. The website breaks down the process step by step starting from setting up the project to running the demo on the WatchKit app.
7. Learn to Build Apps for Apple WatchOS While many of the other resources are aiming at covering mostly the theoretical knowledge, this resource is perfect for learning while doing. The Eduonix watchOS tutorial offers the right blend of theoretical, as well as practical knowledge. From understanding what watchOS is, you will also be familiarized with the watchOS architecture, the Watch App lifecycle, the interface, controls and how it communicates with the iOS App. It is a complete step by step process from understanding to actually developing. Additionally, it also covers including the latest features such as Force Touch, Digital Crown, Haptic Feedback, Watchkit and Handoff.
8. Raywenderlich - watchOS 2 by Tutorials This resource is aimed at developers who already have the developing basics down and are simply looking to sharpen their programming skills with the watchOS 2. The tutorials come in two forms – PDF ($54) and PDF & Print ($81). The tutorial includes building apps for Apple Watch and covers watchOS 2, Xcode 7 and Swift 2. The website also has other tutorials aimed at learning Basic Swift 2 and iOS 9.
If you are not a fan of reading background material but instead want to learn by doing, well this is a great tutorial to start with. This blog focuses on building one specific app, a location aware weather app, for the Apple Watch. The tutorial will take you through the process of creating the app including setting it up, learning how to request location, adding a watch app to the weather app and finally running a finished version of that app.
The need for smartwearable developers is on the rise, with a lot of app companies targeting technology for this next trend. These are a few of the great resources to help you get started on your developing journey. In case, you come across any other great resources that we may have missed, please share it with us know in the comments below.
About the Author: Paddy Lock is an Developer and Content Strategist Eduonix Learning Solutions since 2013. Content planning for websites, blogs, guest posts, articles, press release, etc.