Apple has opened up early Apple Watch access to more developers ahead of its April 24 launch, reports the Financial Times. The company had previously allowed select, high profile developers to visit its Cupertino campus and use working versions of the device, but within the last two weeks it has expanded the offer to ~20 devs per day.

The program is huge for developers, allowing them to test their apps on a working device, rather than the Mac-based simulator Apple released last year. It’s also very secretive, as entrants are asked to sign strict non-disclosure agreements, and forced to work in conference rooms draped with curtains and guarded by Apple security.

But Apple is betting that all of this hard work will pay off. In addition to fitness tracking and notification features, the company is pushing a large app selection as one of the flagship features of its new wearable. After all, app quality and selection have long been a bold bullet point in comparison lists between iOS and its competitors.

The Apple Watch will become available for pre-order on April 10, at 12:01 am (PST), and will officially go on sale later this month. As of today, a number of iOS apps have already been updated with proper support for the device including Twitter, popular note-taking app Evernote, weather app Dark Sky and Target’s shopping app.

Source: Financial Times

  • Jamessmooth

    Exciting! What type of watch is everyone getting? (that is, if you want one to begin with)

    • Tommy Gumbs

      I’m getting the version that last for several days after one charge, can be worn while swimming in a pool,and costs 199 to 299………oh wait. 🙁

      • Fanboy 

        Hey Tommy 😉 could you please inform us which current SMARTwatch on the market currently allows you to go swimming with it, has a decent design that you can actually wear out, and has a starting price of $199? 🙂

      • Tommy Gumbs

        Actually believe it or not, the Pebble watch is used for swimming. There are even programs that you use…think Nike Plus…to track your swims. I was actually shocked so i googled it. Now as far as “decent design” goes, I guess beauty does lie in the eyes of the beholder.

      • Fanboy 

        I know, I own a Pebble, but thats not a smartwatch…. lol. That’s why I said which Smartwatch on the market offers this (ex. of smartwatches: Moto 360, Samsung Gear, LG G Watch, Huawei Watch, etc.). There are currently no smartwatches that offer this. In fact when the Samsung Gear came out it started at $300 and didnt even have a lot of the features that the Apple Watch does so the price shouldnt even be a concern

      • Tommy Gumbs

        This is the first that I have heard it is not a Smart Watch…I guess I did not get the memo….:(

      • Fanboy 

        Yeah sad news its not :/ lol. My box also says “Smartwatch” on it until I realized all it does is mirror my iPhone and has no true functionality. I still love it because I use it to view Notifications/Calls no matter where I am but I cant interact with my iPhone so if someone calls me in the shower i’ll be able to see it but thats about it. Not very smart at all.

      • Tommy Gumbs

        Wait…..even the box says “Smart Watch” for iOS or Android…..those LIARS……..DAMNED BE THEM.

    • Hussain Alsanona

      Still not sure whether I’m getting the Space Gray Aluminum or the stainless Steel, but I mostly going for the Sport Edition.

  • Michael Hulet

    I’m kicking myself so hard because I got an invitation to one of these sessions a couple weeks ago, but it went to the email address I only use for iTunes Connect, which I almost never check. Now there’s not a spot left for me