Developers say making killer apps for the new smartwatch is a killer because Apple blocks access to certain features on its development kit. Fred Katayama reports.
Some critics note the new Apple Watch lacks compelling apps. But software developers say coming up with those killer apps is a killer. Their chief complaint: they can't access certain features. One, Apple's development kit, they say, has blocked the gyroscope, accelerometer, among other features. Second, Apple's watch simulator can't test all the functions. And apps for the watch have to work with the iPhone because the watch can't work by itself without the phone. A product manager at the software engineering firm Eleks, Markiyan Matesekh, said, "The limitations are discouraging." Killer apps are key for Apple. Although it wasn't the first to market with products like the iPhone and iPad, cool apps developed by third parties helped turn them into blockbuster hits. Android smartwatches from big guns like Samsung and startups like Pebble have been around for several years, but software designers note they still lack killer apps. Apple's site lists around 40 apps. And Apple says "thousands" more have been developed. But those shown so far are mostly versions of existing services from the likes of Uber and American Airlines.