How do we know if app is native or not?

Discussion in 'Apple Watch Apps' started by Stekki, Sep 17, 2015.

  1. Stekki macrumors newbie

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    Oct 6, 2011
    #1
    Any idea? Is there some distinction between non native and native watch apps?
     
  2. Smurphy Gherkin macrumors regular

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    #2
    I imagine the developer will proudly say so in the store description, but if not, try running it with phone in airplane mode. If it loads and does useful stuff, I'm guessing it's native!
     
  3. CobraPA macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Have you tried running apps in airplane mode? It is a really good test, nice idea. I just tried it, and non-native apps (WatchOS 1.0.1) all show the name and an airplane only. Some of Apple's apps still launch though, like Health.
     
  4. DaveWil macrumors member

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    Jul 16, 2012
    #4
    Yes since non-native apps need to communicate though Bluetooth to your phone. Turning off Bluetooth on your phone and trying to run the apps on you watch will let you know if it is native. Today, you will see that a lot of the Apple apps are native while 3rd parties are not. It would be nice if there was a way to tell before downloading or buying an app.
     
  5. Stekki thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #5
    Ok thanks guys.
     
  6. DannyBres macrumors 65816

    DannyBres

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    #6
    There is an easier way, non-native shows the name of the App when it shows the initial loading spinner; native apps do not.
     
  7. Smurphy Gherkin macrumors regular

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    #7
    You sure about that?

    Just tried the Weather Channel and Pcalc, both still show loading spinner.

    Maybe there are degrees of "native"...
     
  8. Bbqthis macrumors 6502a

    Bbqthis

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    #8
    Non-native apps show the name under the spinner when loading. Native apps show the name in the upper left hand corner.
     
  9. JXShine macrumors 6502

    JXShine

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    Jun 11, 2015
    #9
    If it runs at the speed of a snail, then you know it's not native.
     
  10. EdisEdward macrumors 6502

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    Feb 4, 2013
    #10
    If the app works, it is not native. If the app doesn't work, it is native
     
  11. CobraPA macrumors 6502

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    #11
    Did you get that backwards??? :confused::rolleyes:o_O
     
  12. friedmud macrumors 65816

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    Jul 11, 2008
    #12
    Note: Turning off Bluetooth is not enough. Once bluetooth is off your Watch will attempt to connect to Wifi and if successful will attempt to reconnect to your phone over that same Wifi connection and then everything (including non-native apps) will continue to work just as if bluetooth were on.

    Airplane mode is better... and turning off your phone completely is best ;-)
     
  13. friedmud macrumors 65816

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    #13
    Good catch! I think this is correct.

    The only "native" 3rd party app I seem to have is Dark Sky... it loads lightening fast (compared to how it loaded on Watch OS 1.0.1) but while it's loading the name is in the upper left-hand corner... NOT underneath the spinner...
     
  14. CobraPA macrumors 6502

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    #14
    Actually, that's not entirely true. It's been shown that only some things work over the wifi connection. It's not a direct replacement for the bluetooth connection, oddly enough. Although I haven't heard yet if that has changed for WatchOS 2.
     
  15. friedmud macrumors 65816

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    Jul 11, 2008
    #15
    Sigh, it is true (even with Watch 1.0.1). We've been over this a million times on this forum. The only issue was some people couldn't get their Watch to connect to their wifi reliably.

    At any rate... try it yourself with Watch OS 2 (I just did). With your phone on a known wifi network, turn off bluetooth on your phone and watch (heh!) what happens on your Watch:

    1. Nothing for a moment
    2. The watch will show that it's disconnected from your phone (little red phone icon in the top center of the watch face).
    3. After a moment the "phone disconnected" icon WILL GO AWAY.
    4. You can check that your watch has connected via wifi by opening up the settings glance where it will say "Connected" and show a little cloud in green.
    5. Try to launch a non-native third party app and it will work perfectly.
     
  16. friedmud macrumors 65816

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    #16
    I think what you may have been thinking of is that the Watch _on its own_ (like with the Phone off or in airplane mode) is somewhat limited on Wifi. Obviously it can't run non-native third party applications and a few other things (like receiving phone calls which should be obvious as well and doing anything with location).

    If your phone is on the same wifi network with your Watch then there is no difference (and never has been) between that and having a bluetooth connection between your Watch and phone.
     
  17. CobraPA, Sep 22, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2015

    CobraPA macrumors 6502

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    #17
    No, you are incorrect. :) Maybe you're just not familiar with some of the limitations.

    For example, the Apple Watch Remote App (at least in Watch OS1 versions) must have a bluetooth connection to your iPhone. It does not work with a wifi only connection to your phone.

    You can see some details here: http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/remote-app-not-connecting.1904171/

    and here: http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/pairing-with-apple-tv-not-working.1903366/#post-21646405
     
  18. friedmud macrumors 65816

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    #18
    No... you ahhh! (with my best Boston accent :)

    Have you tried it?

    I _just did_... and it works perfectly fine for me (I can control my Apple TV from my Watch with bluetooth off on my phone)... and AGAIN... it always has.

    In my house the BT connection with my phone wasn't always the best... so I just got in the habit of turning BT off on my Phone and using the wifi connection with my Watch since it was a lot more stable throughout my house. I've been doing _everything_ with the Watch-to-phone wifi connection for months now.
     
  19. CobraPA macrumors 6502

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    #19
    Yes, I tried it. Interesting that you claim it works. Several people in the mentioned threads did not have it working.

    Are you running WatchOS 2 now? It may be improved there. The people that it did not work for were on WatchOS 1.0 and 1.0.1. Have you been running the betas?
     
  20. friedmud macrumors 65816

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    #20
    I did not run any of the betas. I am running watchOS2 now... but this did work with 1.0/1.0.1 as well. BUT: there's no reason to argue about that since it's in the past :)

    I can tell you that it definitely DOES work now.

    Further: the topic of this discussion was about 3rd party non-native apps working or not with bluetooth off. Every one that I have tried DOES work with bluetooth off, as long as the Watch can get to the phone over wifi. So, just turning bluetooth off is definitely not an indicator of nativeness of an app :)
     
  21. ZebraDude macrumors 6502a

    ZebraDude

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    Naperville, IL
    #21
    The Native Apps have their name listed on the top status line next to the time.

    The remote Apps the Name of the App is n the Center of the screen with the Loading Icon above!

     
  22. CobraPA macrumors 6502

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    #22
  23. friedmud macrumors 65816

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    #23
    CobraPA... I believe the Remote app is technically "native" (it does launch without an iPhone and it does show the name in the upper left corner)... but it still requires a connection to an iPhone (either BT or wifi) to actually work.

    So, while "native"... it's still useless without an iPhone... which is a bummer. Hopefully they can make it independent of an iPhone at some point...
     

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