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How To Develop Apple Watch Apps

Nikolas Manuelides

November 17th, 2015

One in six adults in the US already owns a smartwatch or fitness tracker. The smartwatch segment of the wearables market promises to be one of the most exciting — and a key part of market growth will be driven by the applications available for the devices. However building applications for smartwatches cannot simply be an exercise in taking existing applications and transferring them to a smaller screen. Rather, you’ll need a wholesale rethink of how your customers will engage with the application, and the specific use cases in which they’ll use it. Therefore, to get into this next serious wave of growth in the wearables market you have two choices: have someone build a smartwatch app for you, or build one yourself.
If you’re up to the challenge of creating an Apple Watch app, here we will provide a simple guide outlining the basic steps. In case you have no experience working with iOS, I recommend you to take a look at the first part of our blog
“Wearables War: Apple Watch vs. Android Wear”. There you will find information about the requirements to get started developing your first Apple Watch app.


The first step to create an Apple Watch app is to add a new target to the project.

File> New> Target


This action generates two folders: “Appname WatchKit Extension” and “Appname WatchKit App”


WatchKit app only includes the Storyboard and images resources. The logic will be written in the WatchKit Extension.

WatchKit LifeCycle


The two methods that you initially call before you see the UI (User Interface) are init and awakeWithContext. Even when you can prepare the UI elements in init, when there are too many elements it’s recommended to do it in awakeWithContext. If you use init, you have to call super first. Calling super creates the elements of the UI and assigns the properties we have declared.

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