Due to the rise of mobile computing solutions such as smartphones and tablet devices, the interest in mobile app development is skyrocketing as they are a fundamental element of said devices. Every fancy gadget that comes out works by using mobile apps, so it is understandable why both supply and demand for this product category are jacked up at the moment. With no sign of things slowing down, app developers are looking to cash in on the newest innovation in tech.
Currently, we are seeing a return of the smartwatch sector after an underwhelming debut some years ago. With more app developers looking towards wearable app development in the near future, it is important for them to know what kind of issues may appear while creating these apps and what they should try to avoid.
To succeed in a thriving ecosystem such the mobile/wearable app industry, developers must make sure that the app they are creating is more than a flashy distraction or a gimmick. The apps that will last will be the ones that have a defined purpose, with developers behind them that know exactly what they want their apps to achieve. If it’s an original idea, it’s even better.
Developing an app is only the beginning. Once the app is on the target marketplaces and available for download, it must be taken care of. App users can get attached to a particular app, but if it becomes outdated and obsolete to their livelihood they will not hesitate to delete it. An app needs constant updates that not only fix problems discovered through user feedback, but also add new features periodically so that the user base remains interested.
Probably the most important element on a wearable gadget, the User Interface is the connection between the watch’s operating system coding and the use or in other words, it’s what makes these watches different from regular watches. Sure, there are some other factors to keep in mind which are revealed at a deeper glance but as a consumer, the UI is what the user will see and what they will want to see for that matter.
Unlike smartphones and tablets, smartwatches come with very limited space for expression, given their nature. Fitting design elements on such a small canvas can be quite challenging as developers must find the perfect balance between adding enough elements on screen and not cluttering the display.
Cross platform compatibility
This one is self-explanatory. An app will manage to reach a greater number of consumers if it is compatible across multiple platforms. If a particular app works only on Android or just on iOS, it denies itself access to an entire market. And while these two are the dominant marketplaces for mobile apps at the moment, there are also smaller markets to consider such as Microsoft’s app store for Windows Phone.
While individually these marketplaces pale in comparison, added up they make a good chunk of business which isn’t tapped into. Just like other smart devices, smartwatches come in various shapes and sizes and use different technologies, and developers must adapt to all these variations.
Ease of access
Keeping in mind that we are talking about wearable app development, it is crucial to also remember that an app must facilitate navigation on a very small screen and arrange everything so that having a smartwatch is a comfort booster, not an unnecessary hassle. The operating systems which run these devices see to that, but apps must also pull their weight and build on that concept, winning users over through simplicity and efficiency rather than overcrowded design clutters.
Battery friend, not foe
The bane of many apps is their inability to provide service for a reasonable amount of battery life. While some apps are efficient, they are discarded due to the insane amounts of battery that they consume. An app must be optimized so that users don’t have to choose between the app and having their phone die before noon. Keeping it simple and not adding an exaggerated amount of features greatly helps with this problem.
Clock is ticking
The wearable app market, in concordance with the rise to popularity of wearable gadgets, will begin to grow considerably and at an alert pace. This means that developers must act quickly and provide valuable applications to eager consumers that have just purchased a smartwatch and now want more apps for their wearables. Under the “make hay while the sun is out” principle, developers which are fast to act on the market shit will be the ones raking the greatest benefits.
Taking all that into consideration, it is important for an app developer, especially for one developing for wearable gadgets, to be ahead of the curve and fast to react on the newest hype train circling the industry. Keeping apps up to date and efficient in a space where it pleases all involved hardware parties aren’t easy, but it’s what sets apart good apps from just OK or even bad apps.