The Apple Watch: New Challenges for Developers

Unless you have been living under a rock, you probably noticed that yesterday Apple finally launched its much-anticipated smart watch. Although there is still much debate on the long-term impact of this new device and its price point, one thing is for sure, it will sell millions.

We never really grow up, do we?

That feeling you get when you have a new toy never goes away. Whether it is the buzz of excitement you get as a child from unwrapping that big red fire truck on Christmas Day or syncing your Apple Watch with your iPhone for the first time, regardless of age, most of us love to play with a new toy. And just like the fire truck that needed batteries to make it work, the Apple Watch will be the same, only this time it will need apps. The Apple Watch (and for that matter most other wearables) will live and die by the app ecosystems they manage to carve out.

The need for testing

Therefore, testing and measuring Apple Watch apps will not only be key to the Apple Watch’s survival, but also many businesses too. Whether it is an app aimed at customers or a new messaging solution to help teams collaborate on large projects, notifications and updates will need to be seamlessly handled between iPhone and Apple Watch. Creating an Apple Watch app will not only meaning testing the watch app, but also the iPhone app — and the interplay between the two.

And it is not only about preventing apps from crashing. Just as important will be the user experience (UX). A bad user interface (UI) or clunky software will mean that end-users turn away from your app and towards another. To complicate matters further, the Apple Watch brings a whole host of new ways to interact with a device such as voice-activated instructions, a new custom operating system and controller inputs combined with tiny screen real estate.  All of these elements will need to be thoroughly tested before an app is launched.

And what about the enterprise opportunity?

It might not be obvious right now, but with enough scale, the Apple Watch could become an incredible tool for the enterprise.   The enterprise survives and thrives on collaboration and workflow.   As fun as emojis and doodles are for consumer, imagine how simple life could be if you could just say “APPROVE” to approve a Purchase Order while you were out and about.   The Apple Watch is becoming a personal “notification center”.   With the right enterprise apps in place, Apple Watch extensions could really improve business life.

With reliable messaging and sharing, enterprises can both work faster on projects and interact with customers in new ways. Naturally, more work will need to be done to make the Apple Watch enterprise-ready.   That means security.   What if you lose your watch?   Can you secure the content?   If you’re away from your desk and your Apple Watch is charging, will your colleagues get to see all your confidential notifications?

With billions riding on the Apple Watch you can be sure this will not be a flash in the pan. However, for everything to succeed, apps will need robust and reliable. For the businesses that can provide these, the benefits could be huge.

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