With the Apple Watch release still a few weeks out we are seeing the first iPhone application updates coming out that already include support for Apple Watch.
You may have asked yourself if your business can take advantage of Apple’s new device and if you should call an iPhone application developer to build a mobile application that allows you to utilize the Apple Watch.
The first thing you need to understand is that Apple Watch applications are companions to iPhone applications, perhaps they are best thought of as extensions of iPhone apps.
A key area of opportunity with the Apple Watch is with notifications. Smart watches in general will enable users to interact without the need to pull out their smart phone, unlock it and then open the app. With the Apple Watch, there will be no need to take your iPhone out of your pocket as you will be able to read emails or tweets right from your wrist. This makes the Apple Watch the perfect place to create an effective notifications strategy.
Strategy is the key word here as brands that are successful will surely have one. You will not want to simply recreate your current notification strategy if you have one for your brand’s iPhone and Android applications. Consider how your customers will use the Apple Watch differently from how they use your iPhone application and consider how your user base is engaging with your current push notifications while developing your strategy.
With the smart watches you want to make sure notifications are relevant and add value. Breaking news items are a great example of relevant notifications that add value. Another might be a notification that a customer’s order has shipped.
A unique features of the Apple Watch is its Taptic Engine that creates haptic feedback. Which is basically a fancy way of saying the Apple Watch will tap you on the wrist when you receive an alert or notification. Due to the personal nature of this device, it is key that your messages truly matter.
Finally, due to the small size of the screen, it is crucial that you create succinct experiences that guide users. The limited space and newness of the device puts a premium on user experience.
As we are in the early months of 2015 one thing is clear in the world of mobile and that is that wearables are going to take off. We are seeing the hardware, software and user interest all coming together right now in a way that will drive growth. Wearables devices such as web-connected watches, fitness trackers and sensors for tracking health aren’t mainstream quite yet, but research firm Gartner projects wearables will be a multi-billion-dollar market by 2016.
One of the keys are the inexpensive sensors now available. These sensors are used in wearables to monitor activities such as health status. Lower component cost is bringing the costs down to an attractive point to users.
Software developers are developing mobile applications that interact with these devices bringing greater and greater functionality to users. Mobile applications developers can help you integrate wearable devices into your marketing program.
Forrester reports that 45 percent of online adults in the U.S. say they are interested in getting a wearable device. Of the respondents already interested in wearables, 44 percent cited numerous apps they would like to use on wearables, such as 66 percent say they would use wearables for access to maps.
Looking specifically at mobile commerce, 53 percent of the adults interested in wearables mentioned they would like to see information about products they are looking at on wearables while shopping. Additionally, 30 percent said they would like to receive proactive promotions from retailers on wearable, according to Forrester. Half of respondents cited they would like to be able to conduct online searches for information with a wearable.
New predictions from ABI Research forecast that smartphone shipments will reach 1.25 billion before 2014’s end.
Even more exciting that that is the accelerated growth they forecast over the upcoming 4 years. They predict a compound annual growth rate of global smartphone shipments over the period of 12% leading to smartphone shipments in 2018 of 2 Billion units.
“While smartphone growth is beginning to fall, plenty of growth remains, with smartphone penetration of mobile subscribers under 30% worldwide,” states Nick Spencer, ABI Research.
As the device market continues to expand, mobile application markets continue to show exceptional growth as well. Gartner states in-app purchases are growing at a phenomenal 27.83% compound annual growth rate and predicts paid mobile application downloads will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 14.22% through 2017. Mobile application development is certainly going to be a key component of most businesses’ marketing strategy.
Wearable technology is set to enhance the mobile environment even further.
“When wearable technology reaches a point where it can be integrated into everyday life, companies who take advantage of its ability to interact effortless with consumers will benefit by being prepared to meet customers needs,” says Kimber Johnson, Managing Director of Pacific App Design.