Apple's Jeff Williams is on stage right now at the Code Conference talking to Recode's Walt Mossberg, and he just announced a notable bit of news ahead of WWDC — a native SDK for the Apple Watch will be previewed and released to the world a few months later, a huge step toward native apps being able to run on the platform. As for when those native apps will be available, Williams says it should be sometime this fall. This could go a long way toward alleviating the slow and buggy nature of current third-party apps — they have to run off of the iPhone, a process that slows down data transmission and generally has made for a less than stellar experience.
Williams indicated that the SDK will let fitness apps have direct access to the Watch's numerous sensors, and other apps will have more direct access to unique Watch features like the digital crown. Other apps like games will be able to run independently without an iPhone; we're hoping that perhaps native third-party music apps will be able to store music locally and work without an iPhone as well. Either way, the capabilities of the Apple Watch should take a big step forward later this year.