Think Fast if You Want to Make Apps for the Apple Watch

The coming of the Apple Watch was announced in September, but still those who would like to make apps are in a bit of a quandary. What, asked a recent article from The Independent, can a person do on an Apple Watch that they wouldn’t do on a smart device?

The answer: quick things. About three to five seconds quick, the article states. Apple’s guidelines offer a bit more time than that, but no longer than ten seconds.

Why so fast?

Not only does the app’s function have to be quick, but it has to be useful to the mainstream. The Apple Watch is, after all, intended for the average person. The average person standing on a busy street corner.

Apple has already stated that it plans to provide users with the ability to view messages on their wrists rather than looking on their phones, as well as mapping instructions that one can view while walking. Apple executives have also suggested the ability to check into hotel rooms, book cabs, make phone calls, and to use the watch to open their internet-enabled garage door, the article stated.

Which fast apps does Apple already have lined up?

According to Apple’s own webpage, a number of apps will be available from day one. In addition to the ones stated above, users will also be able to check the weather; monitor their physical activity as well as access workout stats; view stocks; view sports stats; listen to music; view photos; enable or disable blue tooth, airport mode, or the do not disturb function; as well as have access to standard watch functions including an alarm, a timers, and a stop watch. Some of the companies who have signed on to provide apps include Target, American Airlines, Nike, Instagram, New York Times, ESPN, Twitter,Citymapper, eBay, Expedia, TripAdvisor, Fandango, CNN, NPR One, Citi Mobile, Mayo Clinic Synthesis, and more.

Another idea that is no doubt being developed includes the ability via an app to speak into the watch and have it save the dictated text. Evernote, The Independent article reports, is also on the list of companies who have signed on to provide apps for the watch and already has experience in developing note-taking apps for watches. It is undoubtedly now refining how to provide this ability to the mainstream through the Apple Watch, along with easy access to previous notes and a calendar of sorts that will compile the notes in a way that users can access quickly.

What doesn’t work with an app for Apple Watch?

According to a report from Wired, one thing you won’t see on the Apple Watch is advertising. At least not in the form that it appears in for smart phone apps. The whole concept behind the watch, Wired reported, is a focus on action. The ability to access what you need in a single click, while standing on a street corner in the busy thick of traffic, rather than a series of clicks such as you’d find while sitting at your desk or laying in bed at night with your phone. An article from AdWeek also warns of restraint when plotting an app that includes advertising, stating that the initial desire will be to use push notifications for marketing purposes — something that could get old to wearers very quickly.

While The Independent reports that there are still so many unknowns with the watch, including how long its battery will really last, how powerful the processors will be, and — most importantly — whether or not people will even buy the watch, Wired viewed it as an excellent time for developers to offer a more distilled, pure app with little regard for what ads can be included and which additional sites the app can take you to. One that is more efficient for where we are and what we are doing at that exact moment.

What you really need to know is…

If you’re a developer, don’t shy away from the Apple Watch platform. As Wired noted, the more action the Apple Watch enables, the more useful it is to the wearer. But think unique. Think mainstream. Think fast.

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