How Some Apps Will Work On Apple Watch


As expected, a big chunk of Apple’s Monday event was devoted to Apple Watch. We learned the smartwatch’s price (from $349 for the smallest, cheapest model to over $10,000 — yes, you read that right — for the high end models made from 18k gold) and its release date (April 24 in a bunch of countries, with pre-orders beginning on April 10). We saw how Apple Watch could be used to answer calls from your wrist, help with fitness tracking and reminders, answer text messages with audio, interface with Siri, and more.

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That’s all well and good, but this is App Trigger, so we had only one question: how are apps going to work on this thing?

The answer to that question is going to be on a case-by-case basis, obviously, but here’s what we saw during the portion of the event that featured Kevin Lynch actually using some apps on Apple Watch:

  • The Uber app gave notification when the driver was nearby, and the watch’s display was large enough to show the driver picture and rating along with the car’s license plate number.
  • On Instagram, it was possible to browse through photos, with enough room left on the screen to “like” them by tapping on a heart icon.
  • Lynch used Shazam to help identify a song playing in the auditorium. Not only did the app identify the song and artist, it also called up album art and the lyrics, synched in time with the music. Instant karaoke!
  • After getting a (undoubtedly staged, but still) text from his daughter that she was locked out of the garage, Lynch used the app to call up a live feed from a camera in his garage and successfully used the “Open” button to open it remotely.

Even apps that don’t have an actual Apple Watch version will still feed notifications through the device, as Apple claimed the smartwatch would be able to receive any notification one would normally get on an iPhone.

There’s also an Apple Watch app, available today in iOS 8.2, where users will be able to control notifications, decide which apps to download to the watch itself, and more.

While much of the discussion will no doubt continue to revolve around the price and use cases for Apple Watch, we’ll continue to keep an eye on how apps — and hopefully mobile games, at some point — make use of this new addition to Apple’s arsenal of mobile devices.

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