Apple Opens Secret Apple Watch Labs to More Developers, About 20 Per Day: Report

Last month before Apple’s Spring Forward Apple Watch event, it was revealed the iPhone maker had invited top-tier companies such as BMW and Facebook to their headquarters to help them prepare apps in secret labs (this is Apple’s health lab).

Now, with Apple recently opening up Apple Watch apps to all developers instead of an exclusive first wave, The Financial Times reports the company is similarly inviting new developers to its campus, at the rate of about 20 per day, say sources:

Before March’s press event, only top-ranking iPhone developers such as Uber and Facebook were invited to Apple’s offices to test their Watch apps. In the weeks since then, however, it has opened to more, with about 20 developers a day visiting its labs, according to those who have been there.

The article says developers are visiting Apple to test how their apps work on the actual smart watch, instead of relying on simulators in the iOS SDK. Popular cycling and running app Strava, is developing an Apple Watch app. Mobile design lead Kyle Yukawa said “Just from printing it all out and putting it on your wrist, you instantly realise, wow, this is a really small form factor,” following up with “It’s hard to judge that if you’re starting and ending [design work] on your computer.”

Other apps coming for Apple Watch include Citymapper and Evernote, whose developers similarly spoke with the Times. Developers have made it clear Apple has instructed strict guidelines for apps to ensure quality and a great user experience, while also paying respects to the watch’s limited battery life, set at 18 hours for normal usage in one day.

Canadian Apple Watch apps ready at launch will include The Globe and Mail, Air Canada, Tangerine, Transit App, theScore and Desjardins to name a few.

Apple Watch pre-orders will kick off this Friday, April 10 after 12:01AM PDT/3:01AM EDT, with prices starting at $449 CAD.