https://github.com/Estimote/Estimote-WatchKit-SDK -> Is this outdated since Apple Watch is out.
Which SDK can I use to work with Apple Watch using iOS9 and XCode 7. Am having trouble with bitcode that has to be disabled so I can’t test on a real physical device like iPhone 6.
The WatchKit SDK was our answer to the fact that:
(a) The WatchKit extension (i.e., the code that actually powers the Watch app) can’t itself scan for beacons. The companion iOS app needs to do that instead, and then push the scan results to the extension.
(b) In WatchOS 1, there was no easy way to exchange information (like the scan results) between the WatchKit extension and the companion app.
While (a) still holds true or WatchOS 2, (b) was addressed by the introduction of Watch Connectivity Framework, meant to solve exactly that problem.
So if you want to build a beacon-powered Watch app, the general idea is to use the companion app to do the ranging/monitoring, and then use the Connectivity Framework to transfer the scan results to the WatchKit extension, so that your Watch app can access it and act on it.
More about Watch Connectivity Framework:
In general, we’re very bullish on the beacons + Apple Watch combination (the Watch experience is, in our minds, all about having the right, glancable information, at the right time, and beacons are perfect in supporting that), and we still see a lot of things worth abstracting into a “version 2.0” of our WatchKit SDK—so I wouldn’t consider it “abandonware” yet (:
@heypiotr, In your opinion, will the existing Apple Watch hardware ever be able to support native beacon scanning?
I’m very interested in stacking up my home/rooms with beacons to add to my home automation. However, I think it’s rather cumbersome if the Watch can’t locate beacons natively. It’s already a tiny ask to expect someone to always be wearing their watch in the house, and almost silly to require them to carry around their iPhone.
I’m really just waiting for something like the watch to natively support this and I’ll be doubling down on beacons and dev-time.
Personally, I’m 100% confident Apple Watch will eventually support iBeacon, and also expose the native Bluetooth API—in a similar manner to how when Touch ID was first introduced, it wasn’t accessible to apps, but later on Apple added appropriate APIs.
Whether this will happen with the current-gen hardware, that’s something I’m personally less confident in. I’d speculate that the top reason why we don’t have it yet is, Apple is worried about the battery drain. In which case, it could be that they’ll only enable iBeacon in the next-gen watch, if its hardware turns out more energy efficient. But it could just as well be that in WatchOS 3, they’ll come up with a bunch of software optimizations to conserve the energy, and then enable iBeacon.
Naturally, all of this is just speculation, and the only way to find out for real is to wait till the next WWDC I guess.