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Developers, Start Your Engines, Er, Watches Please

Think what you want about the unveiling of the Apple Watch. From a developer’s standpoint, Apple’s first wearable product must be thrilling – it’s not every day that creators have a brand new platform to build on.




AppleWatch ftr



A sneak peak at a few 3rd-party collaborations opened a window into the exciting possibilities. Travel – smoother experience flying with American Airlines from check-in to baggage claim; health and fitness – challenge friends to a run with Nike; sports – MLB scores; smart homes and cars – control temperature with Honeywell, follow a map and directions back to your BMW…


The small screen and new technology of the Apple Watch present developers with a dynamic and challenging canvas to work on. Here’s a second take on a few features and the unique opportunities they represent.



Since we’re accustomed to taking quick looks at our wrists, the Apple Watch gives developers a chance to hone their minimalistic arts and provide wearers with a condensed, important eyeful. There’s over 2 million ways to view time. This reflects the great flexibility designers have to cater details to match individual preferences. Create stunning new looks for your app as you’d imagine a variety of users might appreciate.



Apple Watch time



Notifications and Features

The distinct appearance of an app on the watch display carries over into allowing for unique actionable notifications and features. Being able to check-in to your W hotel room and then open your room door by waving the Apple Watch rather than using a key, in particular, delighted the crowd.


Some other heavyweights like Facebook and Twitter also had early invitations to the party, but other apps built with WatchKit tools will have the same platform. This is a moment to rethink what people would enjoy knowing immediately / doing immediately with a quick tap to the wrist – how it should look and feel – and to then create new ways of interacting with applications.


Taptic Technology

Tim Cook called the Apple Watch the “most personal device we’ve ever created,” and that’s not merely lip service. The sensory experience of the Apple Watch is unlike anything we’ve encountered so far.


Each alert, action, interaction can potentially feel different to the watch’s wearer. This level of intimate contact goes far beyond unique ringtones or phone vibrations. The tactile sensations can be far more nuanced and original. And personal.



AppleWatch exercise



Since the Apple Watch collects personal data, this means that you can do things like send someone a message letting them feel your heartbeat’s rhythm. As you make turns on the street, the Apple Watch adjusts and sends directional cues – you can find your way by feel instead of looking up and down from a map (which could help curb our tendency to not pay any attention to the traffic around us).


Apple has already made a fitness and a workout app that take advantage of measuring physical movements. How can you put such data to good use? How should your app feel? Not just in terms of an intuitive interface, but literally, how should your app feel?


Have fun answering. We can’t wait to experience what you come up with.


Photo Credits


Author : Keith Liles

Keith Liles is a freelance writer who loves travel, music, wine, hiking, poetry, and just about everything. He practices saying "yes" to life vigorously, rehearsing for the phone call when he's asked to tour with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. Follow Keith on Twitter @KPLiles.

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