Apple giving Facebook and others early access to Apple Watch

Apple Watch (Ariel Adams 002)

Apple is giving select companies early access to the Apple Watch, reports Bloomberg. The outlet says that Facebook, airliner United Continental Holdings Inc. and others have “spent weeks” at Apple’s Cupertino campus working hands-on with the smartwatch to test and fine-tune their apps ahead of next month’s launch.

Citing people familiar with the process, Bloomberg says software engineers for the companies are being allowed to work with the Apple Watch in a top secret lab at Apple’s headquarters. All who enter must sign non-disclosure agreements, and must follow a set of extreme guidelines to keep unknown Watch details from leaking.

“The companies, sometimes sharing a room, must bring in source code for their apps on a computer hard drive that can’t leave Apple’s headquarters,” Bloomberg writes. And to ensure secrecy, Apple is apparently storing the code themselves, and have told the firms they’ll send it to them closer to the Apple Watch’s availability.

The confidentiality shouldn’t surprise anyone. Despite Apple unveiling the wearable to the public last fall, it has withheld a number of details including upper tier pricing and band/model compatibility. The company is expected to reveal more details regarding the Watch on Monday, at a media event taking place in San Francisco.

Also worth noting from the Bloomberg piece is that some developers have noticed problems with their apps, including slowness, when testing them on Apple Watch. It seems the iPhone Bluetooth connection, required by Apple Watch, is causing some lag time. The publication adds that “not everyone is sold on building Watch apps.”

Source: Bloomberg