Learn To Build An Apple Watch App With Instagram’s Open Source Library

Facebook unit Instagram has open sourced a coding library to GitHub that could make it much easier for programmers to develop for Apple Watch.

The company said its library, called IGInterfaceDataTable, “makes configuring tables with multi-dimensional data easier.” For instance, a developer might need to organize a set of watch-app actions into an easy-to-use, yet sophisticated, contextual menu. The Instagram library aims to simplify that process.

For developers of large and complicated apps, this could become a valuable resource for bringing their work to the Apple Watch.

See also: Apple Watch Developers Can Now Submit Watch Apps To Apple

“We’re really excited to be one of the first apps on the platform, and were able to build some solutions that we think will help other people build their apps more quickly and easily,” Instagram engineer Ryan Nystrom told VentureBeat.

You can install the library with CocoaPods, a dependency-management tool for some code projects written in Swift and Objective-C, which is itself on GitHub.

Learn By Doing


There are plenty of tutorials, books, and podcasts for learning to build iOS apps on Apple’s expanding ensemble of devices. But when it comes to something as new as the Apple Watch and its WatchKit SDK, sometimes it helps to learn from the pros.

You can install IGInterfaceDataTable onto a new or existing Watchkit project using just one line of code, as outlined in the project’s Readme file. Once it’s in place, developers can begin importing and organizing multi-dimensional data.

Instagram is encouraging developers not only to download and utilize their library, but to contribute code and bug fixes, as well. Since Instagram is a part of Facebook, the company notes that contributing a fix could even lead to a reward in Facebook’s bug bounty program.

As the Apple Watch has yet to be released until later this month, there’s still a lot we don’t know about the device. Downloading Instagram’s library offers a close look at what one of the major companies on the platform believes are best practices for Apple Watch apps.

Lead photo courtesy of Apple

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