Posted in Business
Millions of applications on our mobile devices promise to perform almost any function we can think of. Accessing information has become even easier with wearable devices: we do not need to dive into our pockets or handbags for our phones. Smartwatches are now ready to accomplish multiple functions right on our wrists, meaning that a new area for developing applications is open to the business world.
Instagram, Twitter, Wechat, Facebook messenger, to name just a few, have already ensured their presence on people’s wrists by developing apps for Apple watches, otherwise called WatchOS. Stepping into this new market of competition may seem risky, but it is worth giving a try. The most challenging question, however, is whether your business needs an investment in watch apps or not.
In order to consider developing an application for Apple watches, firstly, you need evidence on their high demand. Secondly, you should find out if the watch apps prove their usefulness. Get ready. Here is some statistics.
Though Apple chose not to publish the sales reports of watches, the pre-order figures are available to the public. Slice suggests that 957,000 people pre-ordered an Apple watch in the US with over 1 million pre-orders on the launch day. Obviously, people strive to experience the new wearable device on their hands. Right after the launch date (April, 2015), there have already been 3.061 WatchOS apps in the market. Three months later the number of apps doubled, reaching 6.352 in total. Just imagine, developers created apps for a device they had not seen or touched before! That’s surely a proven indicative of enthusiasm and an all-out attempt to be a part of the emerging market.
Apple watches are definitely getting more attention, and there is a good reason for you to start thinking about an app for a watch. Although these apps indicate a new path for your company’s development, their creation demands accurate analysis to ensure business success; otherwise, you may end up with a waste of time and money. Thus, what can force you to consider developing a watchOS app?
Being part of an emerging market
The sheer quantity of apps may cause difficulties for you to get noticed on mobile devices. With the new market of smartwatches, you have more chances to succeed. It is much easier to stand out in a market of thousand apps instead of struggling to grasp attention among millions.
Boosting your company’s image
You need to walk hand in hand with innovations to satisfy your customers and not to fall behind competitors. By developing a watchOS app, you will prompt your customers and prospects that you are an innovator. And that’s natural. When your business is armed with all the novelties in the field, you create an image of a leading-edge company. The only caveat here will be to ensure the usefulness of your offer in real life. It’s not only about looking trendy and innovative, but also providing pleasurable experience for your users.
Keeping in touch with customers
Watches are always with us and no matter what kind of app you have developed, it will accompany your customers wherever they go. Reminders, quick reservations, remote controls, etc. are features that remind users about your products or services and constantly keep them engaged. Consider benefiting from the technological boom; as a result, your company’s online or offline presence will be supplemented with a feature to keep you in touch with your customers. In order to arrive at an informed decision, we advise to create a checklist and give answers to all of the questions below. At the end you will come up with a clear picture whether there is a good reason for you to develop a watchOS app. Check if you have adapted your idea to the new context and user experience.
The platform watches provide is different from that of mobile devices. The reason is that watches are used in a completely different context. A smartwatch is designed and positioned to accomplish short and, oftentimes, intermittent activities. Here is why the user experience should be taken into absolute consideration when creating a watch app. If your idea does not fit the requirements of a stop-and-go environment, you had better rethink the necessity of a watchOS app. Think why your customers need the app on their watches if they have all the other mobile devices at hand. What is so exclusive in the watch that will make certain activities much easier for them? In other words, think of something that a smartphone cannot do or what a watch can do differently. Explore the market to see what your competitors have developed so far. Step forward by thinking what can be improved or what your customers have lacked so far. Don’t start implementing your idea unless you are sure that your app adds value to users’ experience.
Check if you have the next great idea for a watch app.
Find a good use case for your smartwatch application. Being specific is a must. Some companies give useful hints on how the peculiarities of a watch can be used to enhance business opportunities for success. Starwood enables to open hotel doors without a key, Citymapper offers a virtual guide on your wrist while travelling, and some airline companies offer boarding alerts. Research the market, but most importantly, understand the unique needs of your business. All you need is focus and intention to make your customers’ life happier and easier with the newly created watchOS app.
Do you have your own app success story to rely on?
Have you already developed applications for your company? If yes, analyze the reports and create a holistic picture of their efficiency. How did you plan the creation of your iPhone or iPad application? If you managed to live up to the set expectations, then most likely you are able to accurately evaluate data and plan adequately. On the other hand, if you didn’t manage to accomplish the set goals for your mobile device application, why to jump at a new endeavor? First of all, carefully examine the reasons for inefficiency or failure and only then dare to embark on a new journey of developing a watchOS app.
Have you considered the functional capabilities of Apple watches?
Even the best idea will fail to provide enjoyable user experience if the technical capabilities of the device are not considered carefully. Be cautious not to inundate your customers with useless or irrelevant content. Remember that watchOS has only an 18-hour battery life (hopefully, next Apple watches will come with a boosted capacity). Your users should get most out of your application but should not end up with battery issues. Besides, keep in mind that you have a limited screen and occasional interaction with watches. These are not necessarily disadvantages and can easily be turned into advantages if you find ways to benefit from the size of the watch and its main asset: always being so close.
Last but not least, Apple watches provide the chance to give Siri instructions, for example, “Hey, Siri, start a 200-calorie walk”. Think how this function can be helpful to your business. One possible answer might be creating a continuous conversation between you and your customers in an easy and engaging way.
Finally, you might want to consider some success stories to get inspiration for your next great idea. There are so many areas you can explore to open yourself to the world of watch apps. Observe already realized projects: one of the watchOS applications helps you stay on top of auctions by following the bids in real time. Another app sends notifications when you are passing by products you need to buy. Yet others are designed to manage your household security remotely: you can lock the doors, control the heating or turn the lights on/off. Moreover, you are now able to order your lunch from your wrist, and if you have already saved your preferred menu, you will get it done with a couple of clicks. Sounds tempting, doesn’t it?
Travelling provides a vast area for improvisation, too: it’s the time when people seek easiness, promptness and usability. Try to think how your company’s services or products can assist people during their trips. From ticket reservation to opening hotel doors and providing city directions, apps can be a helpful friend. And they already are! We have named just a few useful applications that are already available on our wrists. The designers of all of the above-mentioned apps obviously found situations when people need to take action or to access information on the go. Give it a try yourself and get down to brainstorming. If your watch app will provide mobility, quick access, and usefulness, then you should start creating it to boost your business opportunities.
Rising interest in smartwatches and apps is a good chance to catch the wave of success. This provides a solid ground for you to be available on people’s wrists. All you need to do is to give birth to a unique idea for an app or find one specific customer need you would like to address with the new software program. Research, think and rethink until you come up with an idea of one single function you want the watch to perform for your business and your customers. Remember, they like to be treated well (no exceptions!). Join the emerging market of applications and take the lead by creating an innovative, easy-to-use, and beneficial app for your customers’ Apple watches.
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