One of the biggest complaints about the Apple Watch is that third-party apps run slowly because they don't run natively on the device. That's about to change, as a native Apple Watch SDK will be previewed at WWDC, allowing apps to run directly on the smartwatch.
If you own an Apple Watch, you are probably already familiar with how slowly third-party apps take to load and function on the smartwatch, especially when compared with Apple's own applications, like Mail, Messages, Calendar and Maps. The user experience improved when Apple released its first software update for the Apple Watch in the form of Watch OS 1.0.1, which the company claimed contained bug fixes, performance improvements to Siri, accessibility, measuring stand activity, calculating calories, distance and pace during outdoor walk and run workouts and third-party apps.
After downloading and installing the update, most Apple Watch owners noticed an immediate improvement in the overall user experience. While third-party apps saw a performance increase, most users still find opening and using these apps is a slow process that's often greeted by a spinning progress indicator, and in most cases, the display times out before the app ever opens. This is because the Apple Watch doesn't run native third-party apps the way iPhones and iPads do. Third-party apps on the Apple Watch run on the required tethered iPhone paired with the device.
The days of slow third-party apps is coming to an end, as Apple has confirmed it will preview an updated Apple Watch SDK along with iOS 9 and OS X at its WWDC conference, which kicks off on June 8. Apple previously announced that native third-party apps for the Apple Watch would be available later this year, and it looks like that will happen when the company releases that update, iOS 9, and new version of OS X in the fall.