watchOS 2 by Tutorials Now Available!

Check out our new book covering how to make apps for the Apple Watch with watchOS 2! By Ray Wenderlich.

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watchOS 2 by Tutorials Now Available!

10 mins

watchOS 2 by Tutorials Now Available!

Note from Ray: Happy Wednesday – it’s book release day during the iOS 9 Feast!

This year at WWDC, Apple introduced watchOS 2, which signifies a huge change for Apple Watch developers. Now, you can make native apps that run directly on your watch.

  • Out is the hybrid architecture where the interface resided on the Watch, but the code executed as an extension on the paired iPhone.
  • In is a much more familiar, although still quite unique, flavor of architecture where the code is still executed as an extension, but within the Watch app running on the device itself.

With this shift, you can now access some of the more popular iOS frameworks from the watch, including Core Data, Core Location, Core Motion, and many, many others. There’s also many brand new features like Complications, Watch Connectivity, and more.

Given the major shift with watchOS 2 development, rather than doing a weak-sauce update of our previous book (WatchKit by Tutorials) we decided to rethink the book from the ground up.

The result is a brand new book, that is available today – watchOS 2 by Tutorials!

About watchOS 2 by Tutorials

watchOS 2 by Tutorials is for intermediate developers, who already know the basics of iOS and Swift development but want to learn how to make apps for the Apple Watch.

watchOS 2 is a whopping 27 chapters and 466 pages, 17 chapters of which are brand new chapters covering new functionality in watchOS 2. Let’s take a quick look at what’s inside:

  1. Chapter 1, Hello, Apple Watch!: Dive straight in and build your first watchOS 2 app–a very modern twist on the age-old “Hello, world!” app.


  1. Chapter 2, Architecture: watchOS 2 might support native apps, but they still have an unusual architecture. This chapter will teach you everything you need to know about this unique aspect of watch apps.
  2. Chapter 3, UI Controls: There’s not a UIView to be found! In this chapter you’ll dig into the suite of interface objects that ship with WatchKit–watchOS’ user interface framework.


  1. Chapter 4, Pickers: WKInterfacePicker is the only programmatic way to work with the Digital Crown. You’ll learn how to set one up, what the different visual modes are, and how to respond to the user interacting with the Digital Crown via the picker.


  1. Chapter 5, Layout: Auto Layout? Nope. Springs and Struts then? Nope. Guess again. Get an overview of the layout system you’ll use to build the interfaces for your watchOS apps.


  1. Chapter 6, Navigation: You’ll learn about the different modes of navigation available on watchOS, as well as how to combine them.


  1. Chapter 7, Tables: Tables are the staple ingredient of almost any watchOS app. Learn how to set them up, how to populate them with data, and just how much they differ from UITableView.


  1. Chapter 8, Menus: Context menus are the watchOS equivalent of action sheets on iOS. You’ll get your hands dirty and learn everything you need to know about creating them and responding to user interaction.


  1. Chapter 9, Animation: The way you animate your interfaces has changed with watchOS 2, with the introduction of a single, UIView-like animation method. You’ll learn everything you need to know about both animated image sequences and the new API in this chapter.


  1. Chapter 10, Glances: Think of a glance as a read-only, quick and lightweight view of your app, providing your users with timely information. You’ll learn about the interface of a glance, as well as how to provide the underlying data.


  1. Chapter 11, Notifications: watchOS offers support for several different types of notifications, and allows you to customize them to the individual needs of your watch app. In this chapter, you’ll get the complete overview.


  1. Chapter 12, Complications: Complications are small elements that appear on the user’s selected watch face and provide quick access to frequently used data from within your app. This chapter will walk you through the process of setting up your first complication, along with introducing each of the complication families and their corresponding layout templates.


  1. Chapter 13, Watch Connectivity: With the introduction of native apps, the way the watch app and companion iOS app share data has fundamentally changed. Out are App Groups, and in is the Watch Connectivity framework. In this chapter you’ll learn the basics of setting up device-to-device communication between the Apple Watch and the paired iPhone.


  1. Chapter 14, Audio and Video: As a developer, you can now play audio and video on the Apple Watch with watchOS 2. In this chapter, you’ll gain a solid understanding of how to implement this, as well as learn about some of the idiosyncrasies of the APIs, which are related to the unique architecture of a watch app.


  1. Chapter 15, Advanced Layout: Take your watch app interfaces to the next level by leveraging the new, and extremely powerful, layout engine in watchOS. Chapter 5 may have set the scene, but in this chapter you’ll take a deep-dive into this new system and learn how to take full advantage of it.


  1. Chapter 16, Advanced Tables: Building on what you learned in Chapter 7, it’s time to supercharge your tables. You’ll learn how to use different row controllers, customize table row appearance, and even implement sections, which aren’t natively supported in the APIs provided by Apple.


  1. Chapter 17, Advanced Animation: The proper use of animation in an interface is often the difference between a good watch app and a _great_ watch app! In this chapter you’ll learn how to add subtle and engaging animations to you watch app, as well as how to leverage Grand Central Dispatch to work around some of the limitations of the API.


  1. Chapter 18, Advanced Watch Connectivity: In Chapter 13, you learned how to set up a Watch Connectivity session and update the application context. In this chapter, you’ll take a look at some of the other features of the framework, such as background transfers and real-time messaging.


  1. Chapter 19, Advanced Complications: Now that you know how to create a basic complication, this chapter will walk you through adding Time Travel support, as well giving you the lowdown on how to efficiently update the data presented by your complication.


  1. Chapter 20, Handoff: Want to allow your watch app users to begin a task on their watch and then continue it on their iPhone? Sure you do, and this chapter will show exactly how to do that through the use of Handoff.


  1. Chapter 21, Core Motion: The Apple Watch doesn’t have every sensor the iPhone does, but you can access what is available via the Core Motion framework. In this chapter, you’ll learn how to set up Core Motion, how to request authorization, and how to use the framework to track the user’s steps.


  1. Chapter 22, HealthKit: The HealthKit framework allows you to access much of the data stored in user’s health store, including their heart rate! This chapter will walk you through incorporating HealthKit into your watch app, from managing authorization to recording a workout session.


  1. Chapter 23, Core Location: A lot of apps are now location aware, but in order to provide this functionality you need access to the user’s location. With watchOS 2, developers now have exactly that via the Core Location framework. Learn everything you need to know about using the framework on the watch in this chapter.


  1. Chapter 24, Networking: NSURLSession, meet Apple Watch. That’s right, you can now make network calls directly from the watch, and this chapter will show you the in’s and out’s of doing just that.


  1. Chapter 25, Haptic Feedback: The Taptic Engine in the Apple Watch allows apps to send taps to the wearers wrist, as a subtle and discreet way to communicate information or provide feedback. In this chapter, you’ll learn how to take advantage of the Taptic Engine to provide Haptic feedback to your users.


  1. Chapter 26, Localization: Learn how to expand your reach and grow a truly international audience by localizing your watch app using the tools and APIs provided by Apple.


  1. Chapter 27, Accessibility: You want as many people as possible to enjoy your watch app, right? Learn all about the assistive technologies available in watchOS, such as VoiceOver and Dynamic Type, so you can make your app just as enjoyable for those with disabilities as it is for those without.


One thing you can count on: after reading this book you’ll have all the experience necessary to build rich and engaging apps for Apple’s new Apple Watch platform.