Technology

Apple Watch: What Aussie iOS developers think of it

Broede Carmody /

Australian iOS developers are excited about the upcoming launch of the Apple Watch and say “wearable-first” will soon be the new “mobile-first”.

The Apple Watch will launch on April 24, with customers able to pre-order the highly anticipated device 14 days before it is officially released.

Apple has also confirmed how much each version of the smartwatch will cost, with the cheaper Apple Watch Sport setting Australian customers back between $499 and $579.

Meanwhile, the standard Apple Watch will cost up to $1629, with the premium Apple Watch Edition costing a whopping $14,000.

Mark McDonald, the co-founder and chief executive of Appster, was at the Apple Watch presentation in San Francisco and says he is “very excited” about the product.

“We saw how Facebook would work and it is really interesting how one must look at building a minimum viable product more than ever before because the amount of functionality built into such a small amount of space is crazy,” he says.

“The Apple Watch is almost like Google Glass done right… they realised the user liked larger screens on phones but also want to think about form, function and user experience and how that’s a little different on wearable tech – it needs to be a bit smaller.”

McDonald says the Apple Watch design is “very socially acceptable” and developers need to make sure that their apps load in no more than four seconds – the time it takes to reach into your pocket and pull out your phone.

“As the apps designed for it have a quick to use core functionality, those are the apps that are going to be very successful,” he says.

“We think the Apple Watch is right on the timing… the form and function is right and they have an existing market. Just today we’ve got clients a couple of floors up on our office who are working on developing Apple Watch products already. A lot of people are thinking not just mobile-first, but wearable-first.”

Paul Coleman, from Fuse Mobile, told StartupSmart he also thinks Apple has gone “to great lengths” to ensure their smartwatches will be both desirable and fashionable products.

“The exciting phase will be when we start seeing killer apps made specifically for wearables from the developer community,” he says.

“This is what will make the watch an attractive purchase for consumers and be something truly useful rather than a glorified second screen.”

Guy Cooper, the managing director of Wave Digital, says the price point of the Apple Watch could potentially be an issue – but price hasn’t deterred Apple fans in the past.

“The Watch is going to be particularly useful to companies in the health and fitness space and may just blow some of the existing wearables in that space out of the market,” he says.

Logan Merrick, from app development company Buzinga, says an exciting aspect of the Apple Smartwatch is its ability to simplify the reading of messages, checking notifications and taking directions.

“We’ve been pushing a method to support this type of development that we’ve come to call ‘threesixty design’… which is simply designing software for a dynamic experience,” he says.

“Human behaviour isn’t linear, it’s dynamic. So we have to think of design in the same fashion.”

Danny Gorog, director of app development company Outware, agrees that Apple’s smartwatch range will take wearables “to a new level”.

“Outware is already working with our clients to reimagine their apps on Apple Watch and look forward to sharing more when the watch is released.”

This story originally appeared on StartupSmart.

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Broede Carmody

Broede Carmody is a former senior SmartCompany reporter. Previously, he was a co-editor of RMIT University's student magazine Catalyst.

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