For A Successful Smartwatch, It's All About The Apps

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Apple’s iWatch Will Need Killer Apps (Bloomberg Businessweek)

Wearables, specifically smartwatches, are the next big thing in tech and consumer electronics. Some first attempts at the smartwatch have been released, including Samsung’s Galaxy Gear watch.

So, looking ahead to the potential for an Apple iWatch, Bloomberg Businessweek covers a few criteria that the perfect smartwatch must meet in order to become a mass market device (Businessweek centered these ideas on the iWatch, but we feel they can apply to all future smartwatch iterations). Primarily, smartwatches will hinge on the development of easy, functional, and productive apps:

  • A smartwatch must have apps that function better on the wrist than they do on the phone: Fitness tracking is an obvious opportunity. Instead of lugging around a phone during a workout, consumers can depend on their smartwatch. It’s a big reason why fitness bands are successful.
  • Smartwatch apps must be incredibly easy to use: Easy, one-touch commands for different functions would be ideal.
  • Smartwatch apps need to solve problems, rather than just offer information: With limited screen real estate, information consumption on a smartwatch will be less common. Instead, smartwatches should offer apps that are more intuitive and capable of completing specific tasks.

With Pebble and the Samsung Galaxy Gear already on the market, we will likely see more companies releasing their version of a smartwatch over the next year. While aesthetic, comfort, and functionality are all important, smartwatch developers should focus on building a killer smartwatch app ecosystem. Read >

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In other news…

comScore reports U.S. smartphone penetration grew to 62% in September as 147.9 million people owned smartphones. Apple’s market share grew 0.7% for the month. (comScore)

Microsoft merged developer accounts from Windows Store and Windows Phone, giving developers access to both platforms. (The Next Web)

Apple reportedly added new supply partnerships in Asia in order to boost inventory of its iPhones and iPads and adequately meet consumer demand. (Wall Street Journal)

Samsung held its first Analyst Day in eight years. During the conference, Samsung claimed that roughly 100 million Galaxy S 4 and Note handsets will be sold during 2013. (Tech In Asia)

Instagram ads are off to a strong start. CEO Kevin Systrom claims that engagement rates (i.e. the number of likes) are over 5% on the first-run ads. (TechCrunch)

Common Sense Media found that almost one-in-five children in the U.S. under the age of 8 use a mobile device every day. (Mashable)

The Pebble smartwatch received a major update that enhanced its iOS 7 capabilities and also added support for Bluetooth LE. (AnandTech)

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