Starting on April 1, 2018, all updates to Apple Watch apps must be built for watchOS 2 and up, while new submissions must be built with the watchOS 4 SDK or later, Apple said today.
Apple will cease accepting updates to watchOS 1 apps. It also reminded developers that the size limit of a watchOS app bundle has increased from 50 megabytes to 75 megabytes.
The Cupertino giant wants to purge App Store of watch apps that don’t take advantage of the latest hardware and software technologies. And rightfully so, if I may ad. The original Apple Watch and the initial watchOS 1 SDK were very much beta products.
WatchOS 1 apps are not native. They’re slow, cumbersome to use, unimpressive and at times just downright stupid. Apple has since addressed most of these complaints by updating Apple Watch hardware every year while adding new features to the watchOS SDK.
watchOS 2, for example, brought early support for native features.
With the latest watchOS 4 and its accompanying SDK, developers can now build apps that run independently of a paired iPhone and connect to the Internet on their own.
watchOS 4 also brings faster performance, new background modes for navigation and audio recording, built-in altimeter capabilities, direct connections to accessories and more.