Apple hosting private Watch workshops for high-profile app developers

Bloomberg today provided details on a secret Watch app development lab that allows select developers pre-launch access to the wearable device. According to people familiar with the process, companies such as Facebook, BMW and United have been sending developers to Cupertino's headquarters to work hands-on with Apple's smartwatch. Internet access is blocked in the conference rooms and developers invited to the labs are not allowed to bring in any outside materials. Even app source code must remain at Apple headquarters until the Watch is closer to launch.

There’s a lot of confidentiality,” said Stephen Gates, a vice president and creative director for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., which is building a watch application to unlock hotel-room doors. Apple featured Starwood’s application in September, when it first announced the watch. Gates said he’s made several trips to Cupertino to develop the software, but declined to comment on what those visits included.
— Bloomberg

Our take on the news: Though it's not publicly disclosed, this type of early access to a device is not unusual. If Apple wants to launch its Watch with a library of apps in the App Store, then it has to provide pre-launch access to the device to developers who are working on these high-profile apps. Apple likely will profile some of these apps during its March 9th press event.