The Apple Watch was released by the bitten apple company in 2015 as the most personal device in the family. Not only because we can interact with the wearable with the immediacy offered by wearing it on the wrist, but also because it allows to reveal the personality and needs of the user thanks to its never-ending configuration. Since then, third -party applications have sprang up to take advantage and to impact people’s lives developing apps for Apple Watch.
At first developing apps for Apple Watch was dependent to develop a companion application for the iPhone, but this year the wearable has reached the full age and has achieved a greater independence from its older brother. With the launch of watchOS 6 in September this year, developing apps for Apple Watch don’t need an iOS companion app to operate properly. Now it seems that we are reaching the end of the road, dreamed by Tim Cook, in which Apple Watch apps work on the clock even if users do not carry their iPhone.
When is it interesting to develop an app for Apple Watch?
Although an app for Apple Watch is like an iPhone app that is displayed on the watch’s screen, the size of the screen along with the fact that is a device we always wear on give us the hint that these Watch apps are worth it especially in specific contexts:
- Apple Watch´s design is perfect for sports, also the movement detection and the heart rate control, make it a gold mine for sports apps. In the latest models the Apple Watch is also waterproof, which opens the range to other time discarded sports. Apple´s apps record our daily activity, but leave room for new third-party apps.
- Another field in which Apple Watch can find its own space is home automation. The app House controls and automates accessories compatible with HomeKit, but there are other third-party apps that are launching their applications to control their accessories.
- A space where developing apps for Apple Watch makes sense are the quick queries. Let’s be honest the screen size will never be as comfortable as the iPhone´s to read text or view images, but it has no competitor if we want to make a brief query or a quick request. Take advantage of this feature and create an application for Apple Watch that allows the user to capitalize this advantage.
- With a partner on the wrist which knows how many steps do you take per day, your heart rate, how much exercise you do and which can even analyze your sleep, it was crystal clear that one of the strengths of the watch was to offer us the possibility of controlling your health. If your Watch app accesses HealthKit, it must have privacy policies that complies with Apple requirements.
Get the most of developing apps for Apple Watch
- Design: the maxim designing an application for Apple Watch is simplicity, space is gold on this small screen and we have to offer the user only what they really need without trying to replicate their counterpart on the iPhone. Watch applications opt for circular icons and legible typography.
- Usability: we cannot try that the application interacts with all the functionalities that may be necessary in a mobile device. We must do an exercise in which to find the essence of the application and adapt it to our wearable to provide the user with the best experience.
- Notifications: take the opportunity to be closer than ever to the user. You can create alerts that the user can manage without opening the application. You can use these local or remote notifications to communicate something to the user. The Glances provide information with which the user can not interact, but they create a shortcut to the application in question.
- Functionality: get to the point, don’t try to replicate the iPhone application. A good example in this regard is the Uber application in which only appears a button to request transportation and the remaining time until arrival.
- Location: the Apple Watch can use the location thanks to the integrated GPS from Series 2, this allows you to calculate the distance traveled and the speed for your app. Among the contexts in which they are useful are transport applications, suggestions or notices depending on the location, sharing the location, etc.