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Wearable Tech

Apple Watch apps designed to be used for a few seconds at a time, report says

Apps to unlock hotel rooms and much more are being developed in extreme secrecy at Apple headquarters.

The Apple Watch is the first wearable from the company behind the iMac, iPhone and iPad. CNET

App-makers are hard at work building apps for the Apple Watch in top-secret conditions that would make Maxwell Smart jealous, according to a new report. Behind those closed doors, Apple is offering guidelines on how Watch apps should work and suggesting that wearers will use the app for less than ten seconds at a time.

According to sources speaking to Bloomberg, sample Watches are made available to developers in locked rooms with no Internet access at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California. Code created by the developers isn't allowed to leave Apple.

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The Apple Watch is the fruity iPhone-creator's first wearable device, following the likes of Samsung, LG, and Pebble into the smartwatch game. Paired with your phone, it can track your movements and notify you of new messages. The apps developed by other companies will expand the possibilities of what you can do with the watch: a BMW app will keep you posted on your car's status, while a Starwood Hotels app will enable you to unlock your hotel room with your wrist.

Apple is keen to ensure the Watch doesn't clamour for your attention, buzzing constantly with irrelevant interruptions. As such, apps are reported to manage notifications by, for example, only notifying you when certain people do something interesting, or sending you personal emails outside of work hours so as not to distract you at an inappropriate time.

Owners should be able to dip in and out of a Watch app quickly, taking care of business in less than ten seconds at a time.

On Monday 9 March, Apple CEO Tim Cook will take to the stage in San Francisco at an event dedicated to the Apple Watch (and probably a few other things besides). Although it was revealed in September, exact details of the watch have been kept under wraps. We do know however that it will go on sale in April, starting at $349 in the US for the entry-level aluminum-and-glass Apple Watch Sport version. That converts to roughly £220 or AU$380. Industry analysts expect the watch to do boffo business, perhaps even swallowing up as much as half of the smartwatch market.

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