With pre-orders available for the AppleWatch in the UK this Friday, the excitement around the first new product line from Apple, in the past five years (and the first since the death of Steve Jobs), is growing. Arguably, this is the most anticipated wearable, if not product, of the year.
Since its announcement last September, developers and designers have been eager to see what Apple Watch’s capabilities and limitations are in terms of app development. In just four months, after the release of the AppleWatch SDK in December, over 1,000 apps have been submitted to Apple ahead of the launch of Apple Watch on the 24th April.
Beyond the core functionality of the Watch, it is both apps and sales that will define the success of the device. Apple is taking no chances and working with developers to help its customers see the need for the Watch from day one.
In this blog post, we will look at some of the enterprise apps that will be available when the Watch launches. It’s clear that many companies have already started looking at this, so we thought it would be useful to assess the apps and their potential influence on the way we work.
Mail Pilot 2
Working with a busy schedule, it’s sometimes hard to keep track of what you’re doing and when. The Mail Pilot 2 app allows you to prioritise your schedule and easily view reminders for your day at a glance. This app highlights how the Watch should be used. Providing the information that you need at that time, at a glance. The app is designed to help you declutter parts of a your day, to see what’s new in your inbox and create actions for your email.
Existing users of this app will likely appreciate the further ease of being able to review information on their wrist.
Using your GPS location, this app will provide you with relevant information you need, based on your location. It’s designed for a number of different industries, but here are just a few examples.
For field sales employees who meet dozens of clients a day, this app can provide them with the most critical information, to ensure the success of their meetings. For the logistics industry, delivery staff can use this app to access personalised delivery requests from consumers at a glance, to provide better customer service when they need it.
Integrated with beacon technology, warehouse and construction workers can access relevant information based on their micro-location direct to their wrists, this is particularly useful in times when taking out a phone or tablet is not a safe or viable option.
Now, it remains to be seen whether warehouse or construction employees will be provided with Apple Watches. It’s much more likely that this would aid field teams or even consultants who spend time moving around.
The #Notes Apple Watch app lets you make notes quickly and easily whilst on the move. The app uses your voice to let you dictate a message directly onto your wrist. As it’s often pretty hard to type up notes and walk at the same time when an idea pops into your head, the app is meant to help alleviate that problem. Although the phone has the same functionality, this provides an easier route to record notes, without having to get your phone out every time.
According to the makers, ‘Dictating directly to your watch minimises the fear of walking into any poles whilst typing.’ It remains to be seen whether the Watch would be able to decipher a note accurately with the various noises outside, but this is an interesting idea.
Currently available for the Mac, iPad and iPhone, this Apple Watch app can quickly and subtly remind you of upcoming tasks, to try to make you more productive. With clever UI, designed specifically for the Watch, Omnifocus presents tasks and reminders in a user friendly way. Again, with the use of intuitive design, this app is designed to remove common distractions that the phone can bring and to help you concentrate on tasks at hand.
A few of the team here at Mubaloo swear by OmniFocus, so it will be interesting to see whether the app on the watch helps users.
Working alongside the iPhone, it’s important to remember that at least for now, the Apple Watch is primarily used as an accessory to the phone. Except from a few individual features that are native to the Watch, there is nothing the Watch can do that the iPhone can’t. However the opportunity for Apple Watch, especially in the enterprise, is to provide the user with time and location relevant information at a glance. With the Taptic engine, the watch provides an intimate way of notifying the wearer of important information.
Due to its size potentially having an effect on what is possible, many are skeptical about the true value of the device beyond the use of phones or tablets. It’s important to remember that the Watch is not supposed to be a substitute product, but one that works in a different way. With a variety of different apps already available, we can start to see the potential of how the Watch could be used. If people are using it in their personal lives, they will want to use it for work as well.