The urge to stay connected on-the-go is encouraging tech companies to develop wearable devices.
A smartwatch is the next step towards the wearable revolution after Google Glass, communicating with a user’s phone via bluetooth to display relevant information regarding incoming calls, messages, or other notifications.
The smartwatch and a regular wristwatch look very similar, but when it comes to functionality, a smartwatch does much more than just timekeeping. The smartwatch acts as an extension of the smartphone wherein work of urgent nature can be done with immediacy. The user need not dig into pockets or bags on hearing a beep, offering a hassle-free experience.
Smartwatch Opportunities for Developers
Smartwatches are the next big app development platform with many mobile device company big guns already launching them or planning to in the near future. After Sony and Samsung, Google will be releasing its smartwatch on October 31 codenamed Gem, presenting yet another opportunity for developers.
According to Business Insider, the smartwatch market is estimated to grow to $9 billion by 2018 along with 90 million shipments. It provides a chance for app developers to prove their potential away from the crowded and over-saturated market of mobile development.
How Do they Work? And How can Apps be Integrated?
A smartwatch acts as a second screen to the smartphone, so it requires some amount of forward-thinking on the part of the developer when it comes to making apps.
To make a mark for themselves, developers need to modify current app ideas and optimize them for the best possible user experience.
Popular App Ideas
- GPS Navigation – What better than a wristwatch lookalike (& it’s convenient location while walking and driving) to give directions on the go? To begin developing for this platform, developers can start with a highly useful pre-existing GPS navigation app idea.
- Virtual Notepad – Smartwatches are about usefulness more than anything else. An easy-to-access notepad with push reminders is one way for busy people to ensure they get absolutely everything done, because their to-do list is literally attached to them.
- Instant Messaging – Clearly, giving long-drawn-out information on a device with a 1.6 inch screen isn’t a good option. But instant messengers to exchange relevant and timely updates are a great fit.
- Health & Fitness – Making a fitness app to record health data, suggest workouts to lose weight, and track heart rate & distances covered is perfect for health junkies.
- Social Media – With Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and other networks constantly providing much-needed doses of entertainment, smartwatches pave the way for developers to give people exactly what they want the instant it happens – and they don’t even have to pick their phone up from their desk.
Things to Keep in Mind
- Apps built for this platform are based on crunching data to accommodate the most significant info into its minuscule screen.
- Build simple, easy-to-use apps, as the screen size is small and the contrast is low to for a longer battery life comparable with traditional watches.
- Use either left- or right-align the text and don’t center-align.
- Provide space for the users to place their fingers for touch and swipe navigation.
- Make apps that offer something that cannot be done on a smartphone or can be done in a better, easier way through smartwatches.
- If the screen size allows comfortable text input via a keyboard-type option, then developing one will really set you apart from everyone else. As of now, typing & text input has to be done from the phone. Another option is utilizing voice recognition technology already present on mobile devices.
Do you have any other possible app ideas for this new wearable other than the ones mentioned above? What are the obstacles you’ll have to overcome to develop it? Share them with us in the comments section below.
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