WWDC 2019: Apple Watch apps break free from the iPhone, but there's a possible catch

Finally, Apple is allowing its smartwatch to stand alone, and make apps work independent of the iPhone.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

In a sign of how strong the Apple Watch ecosystem has become, Apple is allowing apps to be developed that are independent of the iPhone.

Must readApple WatchOS 6 updates

Up until now, Apple Watch apps have had to have a corresponding app on the iPhone. While this was initially a useful way for Apple to expand the functionality of the Apple Watch, it increasingly became a limitation for both developers and end users.

In watchOS 6, this changes. Not only can developers now develop apps that are independent of the iPhone, but watchOS 6 also brings with it its own App Store, where users can browse and download new apps.

However, this could very well be a double-edged sword. So far, Apple Watch apps have been tied to an iPhone app, but now that this has changed, we could see Apple Watch apps being sold separately to the iPhone app.

This is a good way for Apple and developers to increase app revenue, but end users will end up footing the bill.

Apple is also introducing automatic updates to watchOS 6, bringing the platform in line with iOS.

Apple WWDC 2019 keynote: Scenes and surprises

Would you pay for an Apple Watch app? Let me know!

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