The iWatch — or whatever Apple decides to call its wearable computer — will be officially announced on Tuesday but likely won’t actually go on sale until 2015. One reason for the gap between announcement and launch is so that developers can have apps ready to go once the device finally goes on sale, and according to Mark Gurman at 9to5Mac, a select group of “high profile social network and services companies” recently received a pre-release software development kit.
It’s unclear from the report whether the [company]Apple[/company] wearable wristband will have its own app store, or will instead have a special section on the iOS App Store that features compatible apps. Android Wear, the [company]Google[/company] smartwatch platform, rolls compatible features into standard Android apps, but Android Wear watches require a paired phone, and we still don’t know whether the iWatch will work on its own.
It’s likely the SDK was seeded to these developers so that Apple could demo a few apps at its announcement event in Cupertino on Tuesday. One app the report mentions is Facebook — but what could the other early-access developers be? Nike is a good guess, based on Apple’s recent hires and the purported health focus of the still-rumored device. It’s also possible that financial services companies received early access to the SDK to help round out the wearable device’s payment capabilities.
Regardless — tomorrow’s the day that we get a carefully choreographed reveal. Don’t be surprised if a few high-profile partners are also sharing the stage.