Apple Watch: A new era in app development

Apple Watch Development

 

    In this day and age smartphones are everywhere, personal technology has become a key part of our daily routine and we cannot even start imagining to get by without it. Its amazing to think that less than 15 years ago we didn’t have Facebook, Whatsapp or even Smartphones and now we are looking at the upcoming launch of the Apple Watch, the first device of Apple to enter the -15 years ago unthinkable- category of wearable technologies.

 

    Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, announced it almost a year ago and when he was questioned about a specific date for the launch of the Apple Watch he just replied, be patient, the wait will worth it. Well, the wait is almost over because the Apple Watch has been announced to launch on April 24 and people around the world are preparing for the release of this exciting new wearable. Other brands and manufacturers have already released smart watches based on Android OS but we all know how it is when Apple releases a new product, it’s usually of the highest quality and it has a huge fan base holding their breaths waiting for it.

 

    This new device from Apple sets a new playing field in the app development industry, and with the iPhone and iPad having millions of apps already developed by companies and independent developers around the world it’s no doubt that the Apple Watch will also see a big amount of people jumping into the Apple watch app development business. Actually some developers have already written apps for this new device as Apple released WatchKit, the SDK that developers can use to produce apps for the smart watch.

 

    The Apple Watch features a Bluetooth connection, a crystal clear retina display, a heartbeats sensor and an accelerometer, nothing new there, as this is technology already present in the iPhone. But it also includes a digital crown which is an innovative approach to integrating a traditional part of analogue watches into a smart digital watch, the digital crown allows the user to navigate and scroll through the small screen without having to touch it and hence cover it with his finger, people that already had access to the Apple Watch in special events said that is highly intuitive and evokes the same feelings one had the first time it tried the touch-click wheel on the early generation iPods, it’s a type of interface that feels weird at the beginning but you quickly adapt to after little time using it. The second big innovation and one of the flagship technologies of this new device is the Force Touch technology which is capable of distinguishing between a light press and a heavy press letting the user use different levels of pressure to trigger different functions.

 

    The Apple Watch app development possibilities ahead are virtually limitless and we can already see which categories will have apps appearing first, being the health and fitness the obvious ones. The device will be a great companion to workouts when coupled with an app that measures and tracks your vital signs and movements as with its accelerometer can measure how many steps you have walked or how long you have ran.

 

    As for the medical side this device could be turned into a great tool for doctors who need to keep a close look on their patients current health status, with the watch being able to monitor vital signs at all times and sending relevant information or alerts directly to the doctor.

 

    But although the new and first wearable device from Apple gives a whole new spectrum of possibilities for app development it does come with a strict set of guidelines from Apple, not that this strikes as a surprise to iOS app developers who are already used to sometimes lengthy and unforgiving app reviews, but still, app developers that adventure into the Apple Watch app development arena will have to abide by even more steep rules as the guys at Apple want to ensure that every app in their customers wrists is useful and not annoying to the user. One of the main concerns is for developers to be aware of how important is not draining the battery with unnecessary or overdone functions in their apps as everything drains it from the screen to vibrations from notifications.

 

    Among the first apps that we will be able to see on the Apple Watch it’s the Health app which is already present in the latest releases of iOS and all the other native apps of the iPhone will have their extension on the Apple Watch: messages, contacts, maps and calendar will be there giving the user the ability to get information by just a quick glance at his wrist. There will be also a set of third party apps just from the start as Apple has been working with some selected partners before the release. An app from Uber will be available to request a car and also one from WeChat to see chats and ability to send contextual responses from the watch. The Starwood hotel chain has also been working with Apple for an app that will enable hotel guests to open doors with their NFC enabled Apple Watch and there is also Instagram which allows you to browse and like pictures.

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