At WWDC 2015, Apple made good on its promise to release a new Apple Watch SDK to allow developers to create third-party native apps for the wearable. Here's how you can download and install watchOS 2 beta on your Apple Watch.
When it comes to introducing a brand new device, Apple often takes the opposite approach of rivals by not including everything but the kitchen sink in terms of features to provide users with a simple and intuitive experience. New features are always expected to be added in the future, but just like the original iPhone introduced in 2007, the Apple Watch in its current form can feel extremely limiting and slow.
The original iPhone did not include any way to run third-party applications; instead Steve Jobs and company tried to push WebApps using the iPhone's built-in Safari Web browser.
"The full Safari engine is inside of iPhone. And so, you can write amazing Web 2.0 and Ajax apps that look exactly and behave exactly like apps on the iPhone. And these apps can integrate perfectly with iPhone services. They can make a call, they can send an email, they can look up a location on Google Maps.
And guess what? There's no SDK that you need! You've got everything you need if you know how to write apps using the most modern Web standards to write amazing apps for the iPhone today. So developers, we think we've got a very sweet story for you. You can begin building your iPhone apps today."
WebApps were extremely slow and limiting on the iPhone, since they required an Internet connection to work, and at the time, the iPhone didn't have a 3G radio. Instead, it accessed AT&T's slow EDGE network, which had download speeds of around 200 kilobits per second (kbps). Thankfully, Apple reversed its stance on third-party apps and introduced the iPhone SDK when it announced iPhone OS 2.0 in March 2008.
If you own an Apple Watch, you're all too familiar with how slow third-party apps run on the smartwatch. It's due to the way Apple chose to implement how they work. Currently, third-party apps on the Apple watch are powered by the iPhone it's connected to, but with the introduction of watchOS 2 beta, Apple is allowing developers to create third-party apps that will run on the device itself, instead of using an iPhone as the middle man.
If you're a registered developer or wouldn't mind paying Apple $99 to take watchOS 2, iOS 9 and Mac OS X El Capitan for a test drive before its release in the fall, you can register to get access at Apple's developer site. We just reported on how to install iOS 9 beta on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, and now, we'll walk you through the steps of installing watchOS 2 on your Apple Watch.
In order to install watchOS 2, you will need to be running iOS 9 beta on your iPhone and download the latest version of Xcode beta 7 through Apple's developer portal. Connect your iPhone to your Mac, open Xcode, select the "Devices" panel and choose your iPhone in the list of devices. You'll see your Apple Watch right below your iPhone. Click on your Unique Device Identifier (UDID) for your Apple Watch, which is located next to the "Identifier" field.
You'll need to log into your developer account at developer.apple.com and select Certificates, Identifiers & Profiles in the Members area and paste your UDID into the field. Attach your Apple Watch to its magnetic charger and make sure you have at least 50 percent battery life and that your iPhone is connected to your Wi-Fi network. Next, download the watchOS 2 beta Configuration Profile for from the watchOS developer download page using your iPhone.
Just follow the on-screen instructions and tap Apple Watch as the location to install the file. You'll be prompted to reboot. Once it's finished rebooting, open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and tap the "Software Update" button located under "General" and the update will begin. Your Apple Watch will reboot once it's finished installing the update, and you'll now be running watchOS 2 beta on your Apple Watch.