watchOS 9 adds APIs for sharing and VoIP on Apple Watch

watchOS 9 adds APIs for sharing and VoIP on Apple Watch

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Apple announced watchOS 9 at WWDC 2022 along with iOS 16 and other software updates. With watchOS 9, Apple Watch users will get new and updated watch faces, plus enhanced health features, medication reminders, and more. Apple has also added new APIs to watchOS 9, so third-party apps can now have a share sheet and native VoIP integration.

Share sheet

Share sheet has been available for years in iOS, but watchOS didn’t have a menu to easily share things with other people. Last year with watchOS 8, Apple had already implemented share sheet in some of its own apps, including Photos and Music.

Now with watchOS 9, developers have access to a new API to implement a share sheet in their Apple Watch apps. The feature will work pretty much the same way in third-party apps, showing the user options to share content through apps like Messages and Mail.

Photo picker

In addition to the share sheet, watchOS 9 also offers a Photo Picker API for the first time. With this API, apps like Telegram and WeChat can implement a button to let users send photos through these apps directly from the Apple Watch.

CallKit API in watchOS 9

CallKit was first introduced to the iPhone with iOS 10, and is now finally coming to the Apple Watch with watchOS 9. For those unfamiliar, this API lets developers integrate their VoIP apps directly into the system’s native calling interface.

On iOS, apps like WhatsApp, Telegram, and Messenger already use this API. When users receive a call from one of these apps, they can answer it directly from the lock screen or by tapping the answer button without having to open the app first. Now this same experience will be available for Apple Watch apps as part of the new watchOS 9 APIs.

More watchOS 9 APIs

There are other new APIs coming with watchOS 9. For instance, Apple has updated the Apple Watch SDK so that developers can now create even richer complications for their apps. Another new watchOS 9 API allows apps that work with Bluetooth devices to connect in the background to send “timely critical alerts.”

watchOS 9 is currently available as beta software for developers via the Apple Developer website. A public beta will be released next month, while the official release is expected this fall.

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