The Register printed an interesting article today, suggesting that the Apple iWatch will be delayed, citing as evidence Apple’s aggressive iWatch team hiring spree.
What does iWatch mean for app development?
When the iWatch arrives, it will present an entirely new vector of customer requirements. Assuming Apple opens iWatch to developers (and there is no reason to think they won’t), iWatch will be an opportunity to give prominence to your offerings. If your competition only has a phone app, the iWatch presents a few seconds convenience – if consumers choose your app, they save a few seconds of their life, by engaging with your app on their iWatch, rather than having to pull their phone out of their pocket.
Do a few seconds matter?
The answer is an unequivocal YES. The world’s premier search engine, Google, have calculated that improving response times by just a tenth of a second produces a measurable change in customer behaviour.
Average increases in response time of only a tenth of a second have a negative effect on search usage.
The downside is what works on a phone is unlikely to work, unchanged, on a watch size display. No rework was necessary when iPad Mini was released, because iPad apps worked, without modification, on the iPad Mini platform. But a watch size device will be not be able to display content designed for a phone size display. In addition, a watch size device is likely to be heavily constrained, in terms of processing power and battery life, even when compared to a phone.
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