Apple Watch and other smart watches now allows developers the ability to start developing and extending their iPhone applications to the Apple Watch when the device is released. Overall, WatchKit and SWIFT look amazing for what they are and provide another route for developers to further merge with the Apple ecosystem.
In this article we look to provide you with some beginner’s tips to get started with designing the Apple Watch apps.
Designing for the Watch
The first thing you realize when you start working on a WatchKit app is that it is not a standalone app. WatchKit apps are nothing more than an extension to a standard iOS app that you may have already developed. If you already have a native iOS app and you want to create a WatchKit addition to it, then you just need to open Xcode, click Editor>Add Target, and add a WatchKit Extension, which can include the WatchKit app itself plus glimpses and actionable notifications.
Master detail tables
To create a master-detail series of screens, you need to first build a table in your storyboard. Add elements like images and labels within table cells. Now, populate the table dynamically by referencing an array of elements. Make sure to name them to match the elements of the array above so they can be placed into the table. Ensure that the master scene has a ‘push segue’ from the master scene to the detail scene. Create a segue by right-clicking on the table of the master scene and control-clicking and dragging a push action to its subsequent outlet in the detail screen
The biggest driver of downloads is localizing, or translating, the text in your app.
To localize your watch app, click on the app project in SWIFT, then the project name and go to Build Settings. Add a translation by clicking the ‘+’ sign at the bottom. You may need to only translate elements in the WatchKit Extension area, so you can choose to add localizable files to only that area.
Finally, you need to ensure that your app will be able to load the various translations dynamically. Test your localizations by switching the language and reloading the watch simulator. Some languages are very verbose and might need to have wrapping of labels enabled.
Apple Watch app icon
You have just created a wonderful app that includes WatchKit and SWIFT. Simply drag and drop your png, jpg or psd file into the “Toaster” and it provides a nice set of icons for not only your AppleWatch App, but Android and iOS apps! Now all that you have to do is simply drag and drop them into your project and they will work regardless what size Apple Watch your user is using.
The moment has come when you are ready to deploy your app to the App Store. Begin by selecting your iOS app and changing the device to iOS Device. This will bring you to a screen that allows you to validate your application and submit it to the App Store.
After your app is uploaded to the store, all you need to do now is navigate to your iOS app and it will automatically detect that the app supports WatchKit or SWIFT and asks you to fill in the icon and upload up to 5 localized screenshots.
You already have an icon, so just drag and drop the icon into the placeholder. As far as the screenshots go, you can either use CMD-S from the Simulator or press and hold the side button on your Apple Watch, then immediately and, at the same time, press and release the digital crown. After you take a screenshot, you can find it in the Photos app on your iPhone.