Apple made this known to developers today through an announcement in its website dedicated to developers. The move from iPhone-based apps to native ones will take place shortly before Apple officially announces a new watchOS, and possibly a new Apple Watch, later in June.
Apple Watch 2 to launch in June but expect only internal upgrades
"Starting June 1, 2016, all new watchOS apps submitted to the App Store must be native apps built with the watchOS 2 SDK or later," said the Cupertinio giant.
With new native apps, the Apple Watch will be able to compete with similar Android-based smartwatches which currently enjoy more independence that the Apple Watch does. By going native, running an Apple Watch won't mandate the presence of an iPhone and it will be easier to operate for athletes and fitness buffs who can do without the added weight.
Apple is set to launch the Apple Watch 2 at its Worldwide Developer Conference in June. Apart from running native apps, Apple Watch 2 may also feature a new wireless chipset that will let you connect it with available Wi-Fi networks. This will make it fairly independent of iPhone connectivity except for critical functions like software updates and file synchronizations. A new Find my Watch feature will also be incorporated which will ensure a lost Apple Watch to be traced through Wi-Fi router triangulation technology instead of the traditional GPS.
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According to 9to5Mac, Apple in February released a beta version of watchOS 3 which may officially launch along with Apple Watch 2. The beta version has introduced a revamped Maps app and will let iPhone owners sync multiple Apple Watches with their handsets. The new Maps app now includes a screen of actions along with a Nearby search option powered by Yelp.
However, Apple Watch 2 may look the same and feature the same dimensions as the existing Apple Watch. This is because just like iPhones, Apple intends to bring in new watch designs every alternate year, while packing the watches with software updates and great new features during other releases. However, grapevine tells us that Apple is planning several new models that would range between $1000 and $10,000 price tags. This would ensure people with a liking for luxury watches won't have to pay too high a price for the Apple Watch 2. The new models could be given various names like Titanium, Platinum, Tungsten or Palladium.