Why should you care about making a mobile app smartwatch compatible?
The uncontested leader of the smartwatch market is clearly Apple with a 52.5% market share in 2021. The second largest smartwatch manufacturers Samsung follow in second place with an 11% market share.
With an estimated more than 100 million people wearing a smartwatch by 2023, it clearly shows a solid market that would benefit from having apps developed on their smartwatches, something we as an app development agency make our clients aware of when it’s relevant to their app’s offerings. Some apps are better suited for wearable smartwatches than others.
What app categories are a good fit for smartwatches?
The app market is saturated with almost 3.5 million apps available in Google’s Play Store for Android devices and 2.2 million apps in Apple’s App Store.
Those numbers stress the importance for a successful app to offer at least one unique differentiator to entice users to download and use it. Why else make the switch from a competitor’s app?
We have been building apps for many years and find offering an app for the smartwatch market can be a major differentiator for users to select your app over others. Of course publishing an app on a smartwatch should offer convenience over its big brother, likely available on smartphones.
The most popular smartwatch app categories are:
- Health and Fitness
- iOT / Smart Device Control
- Travel and Navigation
- Contactless Payment
- Personal Assistant
An obvious convenience category is Health and Fitness. If you like going to the gym and track your progress, it’s helpful not having to carry your mobile phone along, the same goes for running. Instead you can manually log sets, reps, weight etc. on your wrist without breaking a sweat (pun intended).
Combine the Fitness and Health app with Apple’s health tracker which automatically logs heartbeat, calories burned, steps taken, miles run etc. and you’ve got an app offering some serious data.
There are plenty of convenience factors in other app categories as well, you just have to sit down to think about what advantages you can offer or contact us to help you along on your smartwatch app adventure.
What does it take to develop a smartwatch app vs a mobile app?
The process to build a smartwatch app is very similar to building an app for mobile devices. The biggest difference is the screen size and how to make the smartwatch app intuitive, and content rich in the limited view port.
If we were to build your smartwatch app, we would analyze how users are likely to interact with your app based on both from a user experience and a technical standpoint.
The user experience standpoint
Knowing which smartwatches the app needs to be available for dictates the entire UI (user interface) and UX (user experience) as buttons, gestures, font-sizes etc. must be easy to use and read in every scenario. Building apps for Android powered smartwatches are also different from iOS based smartwatches because users expect different app behaviors depending on the smartwatch platform.
Important to remember is also that some screens are rounded (Samsung for example), some rectangular (FitBit etc.) and some are closer to square (Apple Watch being one). The app must be designed for the exact screen(s) it is targeting.