Saturday, March 31, 2018

How Spotify for Apple Watch is more important than just music on your wrist

It's all down to Apple's StreamKit.


Earlier this week we heard that Spotify may be coming to the Apple Watch 3 in the watchOS 5 update, but the introduction of the app may signal something much more exciting for the company's range of smartwatches.

The rumor comes from an unverified tipster speaking to MacRumors, which claims Apple will use WWDC 2018 (coming up in June this year) to show off the app for the first time.

While it's exciting to see a third-party music streaming service debut on the Apple Watch, it marks a far more important introduction of tech working on the Apple Watch.

The rumor suggests Apple will introduce its next StreamKit framework within watchOS 5 that will allow third-party developers to make use the cellular features on the Apple Watch.

Big changes for Apple Watch

Only the one version of the Apple Watch 3 can currently connect to a cellular network, and the features that offers are limited to apps provided by Apple.

This new software change will allow developers to push notifications directly to your wrist. That'll mean you'll be able to get messages and more through to your watch without having to have it go through your phone directly and you'll be able to leave your phone at home more often.

Take Spotify, for example, where you'll be able to select the track you want to listen to from the watch and be able to stream it through your Bluetooth headphones without the need for your phone.

That's been possible for a few months with Apple Music, but this marks the first time third-party developers have been able to make apps that can do that directly for your watch.





Apple Music streaming to the Apple Watch 3

Arguably this change may make it even more possible for you to leave the house and not have to take your phone with you at all. You'll be able to receive phone calls and texts like normal, plus also have your favorite apps send you notifications.

It could change the way you use the Apple Watch on a daily basis.

It'll especially be useful when exercising if fitness apps embrace the new StreamKit tech to be able to work while on the move without the phone on you.

Apple may change the name of StreamKit by June ready for the launch, but the leaks so far suggest the features will stay the same and we hope we'll see developers making use of it straight after the conference.

That's the main issue here though. More and more developers are dropping support for Apple Watch apps, we've seen Twitter, Amazon, eBay, Google Maps and Slack all drop support over the last few years.

While those apps may not embrace the StreamKit features right away, we're sure to see a variety of other alternatives apps embrace it and the new features available on the Apple Watch may even encourage some developers who dropped support to return.


It may also be the first time you can download apps specifically for your Apple Watch. Currently you download them packaged with a phone app, but if you can use your watch without your phone, it may be you can now just download certain apps and games just for your watch and not have them on your iPhone.

We're expecting to see an Apple Watch 4 launch toward the end of 2018, so we may see some new and improved cellular functionality in that device too.

It'll likely drop the price of the Watch 3 so more and more people will be able to embrace these true wireless watchOS features too.




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