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Are Apple's rules killing smartwatch app creativity?

The Apple Watch has erupted onto the scene with over one million sales in the opening weekend, showing growth in the smartwatch industry which could dominate the technology market within five years.

App developers working on apps for the Apple Watch are less optimistic however, claiming Apple’s massive list of instructions and rules on WatchKit force developers away from creating apps they want.


Most of the rules are in place to preserve battery life, already quite a precious commodity on the Apple Watch, alongside keeping a consistent user interface across all apps on the smartwatch.

Apple has also been accused of helping larger app developers when it comes to utilising frameworks and sensors, like Shazam being able to use the microphone on the Apple Watch while other developers are barred from the feature.

This type of favorite picking is not an uncommon trait Apple has just developed for the Watch, although it is much clearer now that we have a limited store and hundreds of developers working on first applications for it.

Apple is not the only one that has issues pleasing developers. On Android Wear, several developers have complained about the lack of potential revenue, the performance issues, the over reliance on a smartphone (aired by Apple devs too) and Motorola’s driver failure leading to inadequate circular apps.

2015 might be the year where app developers start to get serious about wearables, but if Apple and Google are not prepared to offer revenue streams for these developers alongside easier to use frameworks, it might derail the growth of the industry as less people are interested with B grade apps from startups.