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How app developers are taking advantage of the Apple Watch

Touted as Apple’s most personal device yet, the Apple Watch has received diverse reactions. Some industry pundits consider it better suited to early adopters, with its convenience being eclipsed by the learning curve and high price.

However, past successes of Apple devices suggest that getting behind their new product won’t end in disappointment. The Apple Watch can only be as good as the apps developed for it, and a few major brands are already ensuring that their apps take center stage.

The Taptic Engine (opens in new tab) behind Apple Watch notifications is a new form of wearable tech interaction, developed to help users disengage from technology without disconnecting from essential information. The wrist-tapping feedback comes through in different patterns and strengths depending on the type of notification received, and glances provide significant snips of application information likely to be most relevant such as weather, traffic, or stocks.

Apple Pay is a swipe method of payment delivered with the Apple Watch, adding convenience while simultaneously promoting the device.

Apple watch

Interesting applications

Various retail apps encourage shoppers to frequent their store while making the in-store experience simpler. Target’s mobile app links to the Apple Watch with shopping lists and in-store navigation, ensuring users find what they want using the most direct routes.

A few travel apps are available to help organise flights, car hire, accommodation bookings, and activities. Expedia highlights upcoming travel arrangements and provides flight status and gate change notifications directly to the Apple Watch, as well as hotel addresses and check-in times.

Many fitness apps have been developed, making use of embedded sensors to measure (opens in new tab) heart rate and steps taken, and Tinder is using the watch’s heart rate monitor to match up heart-rate increases with potential suitors.

From Instagram to Amazon, Shazam to XE Currency, the available apps are countless, but their success is dependent on how well they’ve been developed to meet user needs and wants.


Ensuring your apps are both user-friendly and attractive is key, but developers should take full advantage of Apple Watch functionality to highlight their apps. Allowing users to decide on the frequency of interaction can also be of benefit, as providing too much feedback is a sure path to app deletion.

At the same time, not offering enough insight makes your application superfluous. Quickly and succinctly presented information is a must, and differentiating between functions that will require iPhone connectivity and those which merely duplicate iPhone operations helps ensure necessary and desirable app creations.

Apple Watch applications need not be highly customisable or detailed solutions, but should successfully focus on the fundamental principle of providing concise and helpful pieces of data as necessary.

5 Watch Outs With the Apple Watch (opens in new tab) offers some great advice for anyone hoping to develop an efficacious application that will grab the market’s attention.

(Image Source: Anna Hoychuk (opens in new tab) / Shutterstock (opens in new tab))