Soon all Apple Watch apps will have to work without an iPhone

Apple Watch and app
Changes are coming for Apple Watch developers.

Slowly but surely, Apple is making its Watch more of a standalone device - able to hold its own and function without a constant link to an iPhone. A new mandate from the company shifts the balance even more in that direction.

In a note sent to developers, Apple says "all new watchOS apps submitted to the App Store must be native apps built with the watchOS 2 SDK or later", which essentially means they have to be able to run on the watch itself.

That may not mean much to those of us who aren't Apple Watch developers, but it's a sign of the greater autonomy coming to the wearable - and it means future versions of the timepiece could be even more independent.

Watch this space

It was the watchOS 2 software update last September that laid the ground for this: it gave the Apple Watch the ability to connect to Wi-Fi on its own and provided a Software Development Kit (SDK) for building native apps that didn't rely on the iPhone.

Now apps are going to have to updated to meet the new requirements if they want to stick around in the App Store. One day in the not too distant future we might see an Apple Watch you can use in place of your iPhone rather than alongside it.

For that to happen, Apple's going to have to cram more power and memory into the wrist-based device. Apple Watch 2 is rumoured to be getting thinner and receiving a big boost in internal specs, and we might see it as early as WWDC in June.

Everything you need to know about the Apple Watch in five minutes:

Via MacRumors

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.