One of the biggest complaints about smartwatches so far has been that they pretty much perform the same tasks as your phone.
Many tech companies are still struggling to find what types of apps work best on a smartwatch, especially now that the Apple Watch is coming next month.
Robbie Abed, director of marketing at app design firm Y Media Labs, says some of his clients are starting to think about whether or not they should make versions of their apps for the Apple Watch.
Some of Y Media Labs’ clients include eBay, Shutterfly, BBC, Sesame Street, and Bank of America, although Abed couldn’t specify which companies are expressing interest in building Apple Watch apps.
Still, Abed did provide some perspective as to how Y Media Labs is advising its clients when it comes to Apple Watch apps. Here’s what he had to say:
- Any interaction on the Apple Watch should take less than seven seconds. The number of seconds Abed chose is a bit arbitrary, but the idea is that anything you do on the watch should take significantly less time than it would on your phone. “If I want to know what the weather is, I’d have to go into my pocket, take out the phone, unlock the phone, and find the app, and that could probably take anything between 10-20 seconds,” Abed said.
- The best Apple Watch apps will be made up of one or two of the most important features from a smartphone app. Abed says he usually asks clients interested in making Apple Watch apps what the “killer feature” of their app is. If that’s too difficult, he asks them to make a list of the five features their clients love the most, and then they try to narrow it down from there. “You can’t provide us a list of 20 [features],” Abed said. “Imagine, if you go from a website that has 40 features, a mobile app might have 15, and the Apple Watch might have one or two.
- The digital crown on the Apple Watch will probably be most useful for scrolling through lists, Abed says. In general, any app that requires a super simple action such as approving a financial transaction in an e-commerce app, or glancing at a to-do list, would work best on the Apple Watch. This is also probably true of most smartwatches, and Google is also taking a simplistic approach with its Android Wear-based watches by making voice commands a large part of how you interact with them.
We won’t have to wait too much longer to learn more about how apps will work on the Apple watch. It’s expected to be a major focus at Apple’s big press event on Monday, where the company is likely to announce other details about its first smartwatch such as pricing and availability.
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