M.G. Siegler | A Few Thoughts On WatchKit And The Initial Apple Watch

First of all, it’s now beyond clear that Apple Watch, at least at first, is an iPhone accessory, not a stand-alone product. It requires the iPhone to do basically anything. Hell, it may even require the iPhone to turn on (unclear at this point, but it wouldn’t shock me). This won’t always be the case, but this is very much the case with the v1 of the product. It’s not just that you need the iPhone’s connectivity to make the Apple Watch apps useful, the Apple Watch apps for the most part actually execute on the iPhone.

To that end, the Apple Watch is more of a “widget watch” — that is, it displays content which are less like apps and more like the widgets found in the notifications drop-down on iOS devices. (And yes, they require iPhone apps as a base.) And that shows the importance of iOS 8, which first introduced these widgets to third-party developers. For the first couple months of iOS 8, these widgets were pretty clunky. It’s only now that developers are starting to smooth out the kinks and make these widgets more useful and performant. And this will clearly be key for the Apple Watch as well.

A Few Thoughts On WatchKit And The Initial Apple Watch

I'd guess we're one year out from the apps and widgets and glances that take this from “oh, cool” to “can't live without”.