Apple Watch Opportunities for Entrepreneurs
Have you ever thought about the possibilities for apps you interact with on your wrist? Apple did; and they brought us the Apple Watch and the WatchKit development kit.
I feel entrepreneurs are not exploiting this market. Market analysts believe there are around 7 million Apple watches being worn around the world and the number is growing.
When the iPhone App Store first launched, there was certainly fast cash to be made. Now that the App Store has matured and is more saturated, app makers need more robust strategies and products.
The Apple Watch App Store is currently where the iPhone store was in its formative days — it’s a resource that can be exploited for fast cash just as the iPhone App Store was mined several years ago. I’m yet to see the Angry Birds, Shazam or Facebook of the wearable world. In my opinion. there is not yet a “killer must have” app for the wrist.
The watch presents new ways for users to interact with a device and below I’ve outlined how you can come up with the next killer app.
You used to have a clunky Casio and thought the stopwatch and world clock were pretty cool. Get ready to see “smart” come to the watch. A complication is an intelligent region on the watch face that you can use. Below you can see the standard complications like the time and date, and below that are more interesting complications.
There is a moon cycle app as well as a battery indicator. The best complication answers a simple question — how long will it take me to get home? An app called ETA predicts this and even caters to traffic conditions. You can check it out here.
So think about how you can take advantage of an always available style.
A glance is an opt-in or triggered by the user with an upward swipe on the watch’s screen. The user is presented with panels of information from accompanying apps. One of my favorites is CheatSheet — it’s super simplistic and holds frequent things I forget like the WiFi password at work or my driver’s license number. Consider what information you could show that enables quick recall or convenience when the user asks for it. You can check out CheatSheet here.
Just like iPhone apps, the watch has dedicated apps but with a twist. You have to totally rethink how a user interacts with the app as the interface is customized to the smaller screen. Big buttons and sub-menus are in and scrolling with the digital crown (the thumb wheel) is considered a great way to scroll.
The apps that are getting good traction are not ones that are mega serious or need a user to sit down and interact. They are on-the-go and optimized for short bursts of interaction. Take the Streaks app — it allows you to set a goal like ‘walk the dog 10 times’ and allows you to add up the times you’ve done it and track it. It’s simple and accessible on your wrist when you’re in the moment.
With the upcoming World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) where apple traditionally unveils new technology, I feel the chances are high that we will see a new watch. It’s unlikely the software will change too radically but I feel shrinking the internal chipboard and showing off a thinner watch will boost sales a lot. My hunch is that if you time in your watch app launch with the new watch launch, you can capture the massive hype that comes along with it every year.