Apple Watch on watchOS 2 Hacked to Run Truly Native Apps Including 'Canabalt' and 'Flappy Bird' Clone

Since watchOS 2 was released last Monday, several developers have been tinkering with the software and have managed to get games like Canabalt and a Flappy Bird clone to run natively on the Apple Watch using frameworks like UIKit and SpriteKit, which are not available to developers for Apple Watch apps.

One of the main features Apple added to watchOS 2 is the ability for developers to create "native" apps that run on the device itself instead of the iPhone, but as it turns out, developers are restricted to using WatchKit for Apple Watch interfaces and are not able to use more advanced frameworks available on for iPhone apps like UIKit, SpriteKit, and SceneKit.

Last week, developers Steven Troughton-Smith, Adam Bell, and Jay Freeman were able to get apps using UIKit and SceneKit to run on the Apple Watch, and in the video below, endless runner Canabalt is shown running natively on the Apple Watch.


Developer Hamza Sood has also been tinkering with watchOS 2 and today tweeted that he was able to get a Flappy Bird clone to run on the Apple Watch with native SpriteKit rendering. He also took it one step further, adding both touch and Digital Crown input controls.
Developers don't yet have permission from Apple to use these frameworks for Apple Watch apps, but the hacked games give a look at what the device might be capable of in the future. WatchOS 2, set to be released in the fall, will allow developers to create native apps that are powered by the Apple Watch instead of the iPhone, but without the frameworks used in the above examples.

watchOS 2 also gives developers access to the Digital Crown, the microphone, and various sensors on the watch, including the accelerometer and heart rate monitor, which will lead to more full-featured apps later this year.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 6, watchOS 7
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
67 months ago
My question is how long can you play a game like that before the battery dies?
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
67 months ago
OS X on the watch or I'm not interested.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
67 months ago

OS X on the watch or I'm not interested.

Waiting on 4K display minimum, and 8GB ram.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
67 months ago
I'm still waiting for the Flappy Bird movie.



Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
67 months ago
So, so pointless.

How apt; it's a perfect fit for the Apple Watch.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
67 months ago

Waiting on 4K display minimum, and 8GB ram.

And then make sure you wait for the gen 2 of that revision, no one should buy the first gen redesign...
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Announces New 27-Inch iMac With 10th-Gen Processors, Up to 128GB RAM, 1080p Webcam, True Tone, and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 8:07 am PDT by
Apple today announced a new 27-inch iMac with faster 10th-generation Intel Core processor options, next-generation AMD graphics, up to 128GB of RAM, a higher-resolution 1080p front-facing FaceTime camera, a True Tone display with a nano-texture glass option, a T2 chip, higher fidelity speakers, studio-quality microphones, and more. A breakdown of the new 27-inch iMac's features and specs:10th...

8 Third-Party Home Screen Widgets That You Can Try Out Now on iOS 14

Wednesday August 5, 2020 12:56 pm PDT by
One of the biggest new features of iOS 14 is Home Screen widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. The widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. When the iOS 14 beta was first released in June, widgets were limited to Apple's own apps like Calendar and Weather, but several third-party developers have begun to test ...

Everything New in iOS 14 Beta 4: Apple TV Widget, Search Improvements, Exposure Notification API and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 11:14 am PDT by
Apple today released the fourth developer betas of iOS and iPadOS 14 for testing purposes, tweaking and refining some of the features and design changes included in the update. Changes get smaller and less notable as the beta testing period goes on, but there are still some noteworthy new features in the fourth beta, which we've highlighted below. - Apple TV widget - There's a new Apple TV...

Apple May Launch This Year's 'iPhone 12' Lineup in Two Stages, With 6.1-inch Models Debuting First

Monday August 3, 2020 3:14 am PDT by
Apple last week confirmed that its "‌iPhone‌ 12" launch will be delayed this year due to the ongoing global health crisis and restrictions on travel. Apple last year started selling iPhones in late September, but this year, Apple projects supply will be "available a few weeks later," suggesting a release sometime in October. We're expecting a total of four OLED iPhones in 5.4, 6.1, and...

Apple Explains Why You Might See 'Not Charging' When a Mac is Plugged In

Monday August 3, 2020 1:42 pm PDT by
If you have a Mac and have seen a "Not Charging" warning when plugging it in to power, Apple last week released a support document that explains why. Macs running macOS 10.15.5 or later have a Battery Health Management feature to preserve the life of the battery, and occasionally, the Battery Health Management option will cause the Mac to pause its charging for calibration purposes.Depending ...

Supposed iPhone 12 Display Unit Leaks

Thursday August 6, 2020 8:13 am PDT by
An image supposedly of an iPhone 12 display unit has been shared online by leaker "Twitter user Mr. White". Compared to images of an iPhone 11 Pro display piece, this new unit has a reoriented display connector, reaching up from the bottom of the display, rather than from the left-hand side on iPhone 11 Pro. This may be due to the logic board moving to the other side of the device. A...

Google's $349 Pixel 4a vs. Apple's $399 iPhone SE

Wednesday August 5, 2020 1:45 pm PDT by
Google this week launched its newest smartphone, the $349 Pixel 4a, a low-cost device that's designed to compete with other affordable devices like Apple's iPhone SE. We picked up one of the new Pixel 4a smartphones and thought we'd check it out to see how it measures up to the iPhone SE, given that the two devices have such similar price points. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel ...

Apple-Acquired Dark Sky Officially Shuts Down Android App

Saturday August 1, 2020 3:43 pm PDT by
Apple in March purchased weather app Dark Sky, and at that time, Dark Sky's developers said that the app's Android version would be discontinued on July 1, 2020. However, instead of shuttering the app on that date, the app's developers announced that the discontinuation would be delayed for another month. Now that it's August, Android users are no longer able to access the app, and...

Samsung Launches Galaxy Note 20, Galaxy Z Fold 2, and Galaxy Buds to Compete With Apple's iPhones and AirPods Pro

Wednesday August 5, 2020 10:07 am PDT by
Samsung today held a virtual Galaxy Unpacked event where it unveiled its next-generation smartphones that will compete with Apple's 2020 iPhone lineup, set to come out in the fall. Samsung announced the launch of the Galaxy Note 20 and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, the two newest devices in the Note lineup, and, more notably, the Galaxy Z Fold 2, Samsung's latest foldable smartphone. The...

Alleged 'iPhone 12' Images Depict Circular Array of Magnets in Chassis

Wednesday August 5, 2020 4:39 am PDT by
New images shared on Weibo appear to show a circular array of magnets housed inside an "iPhone 12" chassis. The unverified images depict 36 individual magnets in a circular arrangement, suggesting they could be related to mounting or charging. EverythingApplePro, who shared the Weibo-originating images on Twitter, also posted an image of an alleged iPhone 12 case with a similar array of...