Apple is desperate for its upcoming Watch not to be a “ghost town” of development come April 24. As such, and in a bid to improve on the software available for its long anticipated wearable come launch day, the company is inviting around 20 developers each and every day to its top secret Watch labs in Sunnyvale, California, according to a recent report.
Though we knew developers were paying supervised visits to Apple in order to test out their Watch apps, more details have emerged in a recently published article by the Financial Times (via AppleInsider). Here, the publication indeed notes that 20 developers are “handpicked” each day by Apple to visit its Watch labs in Sunnyvale, and adds that ultra-tight security measures are being taken in order to ensure that the wearable doesn’t leak ahead of schedule.
According to the report, developers are asked to cover up the cameras on their iPhones before entering the labs, and each developer must also sign a non-disclosure agreement, too. It seems that for individual apps Apple is allowing two team members to visit the labs: a developer, and a designer. These can then work alongside Apple engineers (and, most importantly, with actual Watch models) in order to refine and perfect their application for the wrist worn device.
The challenges of developing for the Watch platform, of course, are aplenty. Apart from the fact that the Watch hasn’t yet been released, developers must also adapt their applications both for the device’s smaller screen and for the kind of user experience Apple intends for the Watch to offer. Remember, this device is supposed to streamline our lives, reducing our dependence on our iPhones and ultimately making us better people. That’s a big challenge for an iOS developer who hasn’t even touched a Watch, let alone worn one.
For developers who aren’t lucky enough to receive an invitation to Apple’s labs, a simulator is available as part of the WatchKit software development kit (SDK). Though, as the Financial Times adds, certain developers yet to receive an invite have even resorted to printing out paper mockups and wearing them around the office, just to get a feel for the size of the Watch.
Apple Watch preorders begin this Friday, April 10, at 12:01 a.m. (PDT). For a closer look at some of the first-party apps available for the wearable, be sure to check out Apple’s recently published “Guided Tours” of the Watch platform. If, on the other hand, you’re more interested in the third-party Watch software that’s currently in development, our pals over at WatchAware have a great selection of Watch app previews for readers to look through.
See also: Save now on Calypso’s Timeless collection for Apple Watch, Today’s apps gone free: Figure, Movidoodle, Camly and more, and With the ‘Game of Thrones’ premiere just days away, HBO Now launch is imminent.