The global market for smartwatches was valued at $20.64 billion in 2019 and is estimated to reach $96.31 billion by 2027. That is a CAGR of 19.6% from 2020 to 2027. As per another survey Apple shipped 31 million of its Apple Watch in 2019. It is a no brainer that developing apps for Apple Watch is a lucrative, profitable and an investable idea today.
However, there are already more than 20,000 apps available for Apple Watch as of today, hence the competition is real. In order to stand a chance against so many wearable apps, you need to ensure your Apple Watch app is built with the highest quality, both coding and design wise. If you are unsure of how to build a successful Apple Watch app, you can hire iOS developers from a trusted IT company that have experience in building custom wearable apps. Here are some tips and tricks to make Apple Watch App Development process successful –
1. Identify your app categories
When you finalize your app idea, think what existing Apple categories it can fit into. Doing so helps create and maintain a practical end goal in mind as to what would be the practical purposes and services of the app. For smartwatches, your app could be related to finance, reminders, trackers, calendars and many other. All such apps can be categorized under Productivity Tools.
Similarly, if you are creating a health tracker app, or water reminder app for instance, such apps would fall in the category of Health and Fitness. Identifying the category can also help you decide which sensors or hardware dependencies you might need for your app. For instance, for health tracking apps, you could leverage GPS and bio-sensory inputs from the users Apple Watch.
2. Prioritize app design elements
The frame of your Apple Watch is much smaller than that of the iPhone or any other Apple product for that matter. It has display size of 38 mm, which makes it challenging to design an app that looks good, and also is usable in terms of functions it provides. In such situations, you need to play with design elements wisely such as color palette, fonts and more.
3. Help users interact with the app easily
The last thing you would want for your smartwatch app is it being difficult to use for your users. The touch screen size is small, and when things don’t work easily, it can get really annoying. This can lead to your users uninstalling your smartwatch app within a few minutes or hours of using it. Hence, you should keep the user actions as simple as possible. Generally, keeping binary options such as Yes/No offer the best user experience for Apple Smartwatch users. You should always prioritize user-friendliness of your smartwatch app when developing an Apple Watch app.
4. Come up with a unique Apple Watch App
The apps available for Apple Watch app are still limited in number compared to the store for iOS apps for iPhone/iPad/Macs. You can gain first movers’ advantage by being willing to experiment and come up with a new Apple watch app idea that solves a purpose and there aren’t many existing app solutions for the same.
5. Build a companion app, don’t just copy your iPhone App
Apple Watch was intended as a device that helps users have easier access to their smartphone apps. However, most Apple Watch app developers generally copy the smartphone app and adjust it to the Apple Watch OS in the best manner possible. This is however a wrong approach to developing smartwatch apps. They need to be treated as a separate platform and the apps designed and developed for them should follow the best coding and design practices for smartwatches. Your app should not be a replica of your smartphone app, but a complimentary service that enhances the overall app experience and usability.
6. Proper Testing on Apple Watch and Stimulator
Most iWatch companies test the Apple Watch app on a stimulator environment. Stimulators are a good alternative to actual apple watch if the company has lower budget to afford testing on the real device. However, if you want to ensure your app successfully runs on the actual device, you need to test in on the Apple Watch as well, as there can always be difference in performance when the app runs on stimulators vs the actual device.
Generally, apps tend to have better app response time, and seamless performance on stimulators as it runs separately without competing for memory with other apps that would be found in a user’s Apple watch. Hence, you should use stimulators for earlier stages of development but test the app on the actual Apple Watch thoroughly before you make it available to download to the public.
7. Provide Real-Time Data in your Apple Watch App
If you are open to ideas or just want to develop a smartwatch app that stands a good chance of downloads and user engagement, try developing an app that provides real time data to users. For doing so your app can use data from sensors like accelerometer and gyroscope. Your app can probably be used for tracking a specific movement of the user’s arm, get a reading of user’s movement, or for any such physical activity tracking purposes. Make sure to only use such sensors in your app when it is meant for tracking such activities and don’t unnecessarily add them in your basic Apple Watch app as it could be unfruitfully troublesome.
8. Keep it Simple, Really Simple
Apple follows this philosophy in all its products, to prioritize user experience over providing overly complicated features that an average user may or may not use. This ideology transcends to Apple Watch apps as well. At the end of the day, developers shouldn’t lose sight of the true purpose of Apple Watch – to show relevant data to the users at a quick glance. You can experiment all you want with the way you want the data to be displayed, however your main priority needs to be to accurately convey the content and not using fancy graphic elements to a point where it kills the purpose of the app.
If you want to build an Apple Watch App that dominates the market, you need to follow these tips and tricks when developing your app, and also keep in mind the various use cases for your app. Keep in mind the main purpose of your app and keep a simple UI without any clutter to make it user friendly.