Tim decrees: Apple Watch will cut the cord from iPhone -- app devs must obey

Apple says watchOS apps won't be approved if they need to have an iPhone nearby. Will we watch Apple Watch flourish, finally?

Apple Watch iPhone watchOS

Apple Watch apps must not need an iPhone, dictates Apple. Developers of watchOS apps have until June 1 to give up on those sluggish, trashy, tethered toys -- they give the pomaceous wearable a bad name.

[Developing story: Updated 6:10 am PT with more comment]

But watchOS 2 has been out for over half a year already. What took Apple so long? It's about time. [You're fired -Ed.]

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers ponder the implications. Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.

What’s the craic? Apple requires all new watchOS apps be native:

[It] is the latest push by Apple to advance its wearables platform. ... watchOS 2 allowed developers to create native apps. [These] run on Watch without transferring data [to] a host iPhone, making for a snappier user experience. ... Come June 1, all new watchOS titles...must be native apps.

It's not you, it's me. Edward Moyer quips—Apple Watch apps could get zippier:

Dear iPhone...I just need to be alone for a while. Yours, Apple Watch. ... Apple gave third-party developers of...Watch apps a new requirement.

watchOS 2...meant you could run apps, make [VoIP] calls and issue voice commands without the need for an iPhone. ... That suggests a faster, better app experience. ... Apple didn't respond to a request for more information.

But there's a wrinkle. Mark Mark Wilson's words—watchOS apps must work without an iPhone:

It's not...all good news. The technical constraints...mean that there will still be limitations. ... This may [indicate] Apple plans to introduce a data-enabled Watch.

What else does it mean for users? Joe Svetlik cuts to the chase, calling it Good news for owners...bad news for developers:

It means you won't have to have your iPhone nearby...which is very handy if you're going for a run and don't want to risk...your £600 handset.

Sorry, app developers. ... It might cause...some headaches. [But] your loss is our gain.

Yeah, yeah. But what we really want to know about is Apple Watch 2, right? Carly Page turns again—Firm will soon stop supporting original watchOS SDK:

This 1 June cut-off date is just two weeks away from [WWDC], when the firm is expected to unveil watchOS 3. ... We don't yet know much about the Apple Watch 2, but [it's rumored to] be "20 to 40 per cent thinner" [with] an added FaceTime camera [and] available in new colours.

Dick Tracy FTW? David Nield muses on Greater independence for the wearable:

Slowly but surely, Apple is making [it] more of a standalone device. ... It's a sign of the greater autonomy coming.

We might see an Apple Watch you can use in place of your iPhone. [But] for that to happen, Apple's going to have to cram [in] more power and memory.

Apple Watch 2 is rumoured to be...receiving a big boost in...specs. And we might see it as early as WWDC.

Update: Even so, "everyone knows" Watch is a failure, right? Chuck Jones throws it up a notch-2nd Generation Apple Watch Could Be Untethered:

Everyone pretty much expected that this would be the case. [But] it is a bit sooner than expected. ... (Note that I own Apple shares.)

Apple’s Watch [is] the most successful...of the smartwatches...(Juniper Research estimates it captured 52%). [But] observers have been disappointed and criticized Tim Cook.

However...a survey done by Fluent indicates [it] is more successful with users than various pundits believe. ... “Shopping” is the 2nd choice behind “fitness tracking” when we asked what [owners] use their devices for. ... Exactly half of the American public believes that the majority...will own smart watches 10 years from now.

You have been reading IT Blogwatch by Richi Jennings, who curates the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites… so you don’t have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @RiCHi or itbw@richi.uk.
Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.

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