Tips for Apple Watch App Development

May 03, 2017

According to CSS Insight’s global wearables forecast, sales of wearable will jump from 29 million units in 2014 to 172 million by 2018. Juniper Research predicts global revenues from wearables reaching an all-time high of $53.2 billion by 2019, a nearly 12-fold increase compared to 2014.

Apple released its Apple Watch smartwatch in 2015 and it is redefining the power and reach of wearable technology. If you are taking a plunge into Apple Watch app development, here are few pointers that will help you leverage the power of Apple Watch.

Go Minimalistic

Remember, minimalistic design is the key to Apple Watch design and development. Stay above the clutter and keep the use of graphic elements to the bare minimum. Real estate screen space is premium: so don’t clutter the screen space. Think in terms of characters to persuasively display impactful content that users will connect with just one look at their wrists.

Don’t create replica of iPhone app

Remember, creating a replica of iPhone app is not the right strategy. Think about designing your app from ground up. Don’t forget the screen size of Apple Watch. It is important to focus only on essential elements which accentuate on Apple Watch screen and highlight on core functionality. You can use the entire space of the screen, edge-to-edge. There is no need for margins, as the wearable’s bezel provides the much needed visual padding.

Your app should not be like an app designed for a smartphone or tablet: it has to be truly modified and adapted to be used on a wearable device.

Glances and Actionable Notifications

Glances and Actionable Notifications display only glimpses of information on the Apple Watch. A Glance provides context-driven overview of app content. The only interaction available is tapping on the notification to open the app to the appropriate screen.

Notifications goes a step further by providing text and app icon. Users can activate the long notification by keeping their wrist raised or interacting with the screen. Long notifications provide additional information and optional actions (like a dismiss button). Like the Glance, users can tap on the notification to open the app and view a screen of the developer’s choosing.

User Interfaces on watchOS

Apple Watch comes about as one of the most personalized device ever. This makes designing Watch app one of the most challenging tasks. User interface for Apple Watch needs to display information effectively, quickly as well as facilitate seamless navigation and interactions. In order to create such kind of interface means you need custom approach and not just porting your existing iOS app behavior over to Apple Watch.

Make Apps Contextual:

Apple Watch apps needs to anticipate the user’s needs and the best way to achieve this goal is to ensure that the information on screen is highly relevant and contextual. Your app should take complete advantage to update information, use background to get new data, and update complication or refresh snapshot. The custom notification interfaces include common actions to handle most frequent tasks without opening the app.

Conclusion

Apple Watch’s guidelines for developers advise that interactions with the device should be limited to 30 seconds or preferably less. With just a raise of the wrist, users can receive and respond to notifications, the challenge has a lot to do with the ability to seek simplicity. Developing for Apple Watch means providing app users with helpful and impactful information in the most convenient way

Written by Albert Smith

Albert Smith

Albert Smith is Digital Marketing Manager at Hidden Brains . An experienced search engine specialist, content, social media marketer and a technical enthusiast, Albert frequently writes on diverse topics such as social media marketing trends, web & mobile app development best practices. He has worked with some of leading brands to build their online presence and scale their businesses.