Developers need to focus on Wearable app development, as these gadgets have become integral to our lives. Here is the guide for them, which can help them develop apps that perform best.
According to Markets and Markets Wearable Technology Market Size Report –
How do Wearable Devices Work?
Wearables are electronic gadgets users put on their bodies as clothes or accessories. These devices typically link to smartphones to share data between the network and the device.
Data from these kinds of wearable devices is received via wearable apps. These kinds of apps have access to the operating system and hardware of the device.
These sensors gather the information and send it to the software configured to produce the intended result.
The wearables market is flooded with options these days. Fitness bands, smartwatches, activity trackers, and even smart eyewear have already become a big part of our daily lives.
What Sets Wearable Apps Apart from Mobile Apps?
Despite their similarities, wearable and mobile apps differ in a few key ways:
- Because wearable apps rely on device-specific APIs, they are not cross-platform.
- Fewer features than those of mobile apps
- Requires less inputs and interactions from the user
- Numerous background processes are in operation.
Selecting a Wearable App Category
Before embarking on the development process, it is crucial to determine the type of app to be created. This approach helps avoid unnecessary revisions, ultimately saving both time and money.
Several potential solutions are available for crafting apps tailored to wearable devices. These options vary in their operational characteristics, degree of autonomy from mobile devices, and their functions. Let us explore a few of them:
- Companion app: These wearable apps are designed to complement mobile apps. They offer limited features and require regular or continuous data exchange with a mobile app.
- Standalone app: This wearable app operates directly on the wearable device. It connects to the internet via Wi-Fi, completely independent of mobile devices.
- Faces: Unlike traditional apps, this involves a customized lock screen for smartwatches.
- Notifications: These solutions are primarily for displaying smartphone push notifications on wearable app screens.
In most scenarios, businesses develop companion and standalone apps for wearables. These apps exhibit high independence from mobile devices and can perform various tasks.
Diverse Installation Methods for Wearable Apps:
- Installation from a wearable app store
- Installation on a smartphone
- No installation, indicating that an app on the phone transmits information to the wearable device
Selecting Feature Set for Wearable App Development
Here are some common features utilized in wearable app development.
User Experience, User Interface, and Controls
A small contrast between mobile and wearable app development lies in screen size. Wearables feature small screens, necessitating micro-layouts.
To ensure a superior user experience, it is essential to provide essential information. Also, they must restrict buttons to one per screen and use concise text.
Certain devices, like the Samsung Gear series, incorporate a rotating bezel for menu navigation. However, the Apple Watch uses a digital crown for a similar function.
Understanding the target platforms is crucial to optimizing usage and reducing unnecessary on-screen elements.
Wearers keep their devices on them at all times. This presents an excellent opportunity to remind them about upcoming events, scheduled calls, or workout sessions.
Push notifications are essential for wearable apps. Today, these notifications can even display complete text messages or previews of upcoming events.
Wearable app development often involves developing two apps: one for smartphones and one for wearables.
In the case of standalone apps, they may need to develop a “container app” to handle setup and installation. However, most smartwatches can connect to the internet via Wi-Fi, directly acquiring apps from a store.
They can also create a companion app for an existing mobile app. Also, they can develop both companion and mobile apps.
The basic navigation mechanisms provided by wearable manufacturers can improve the user experience. For example, many smartwatches offer gestures for screen navigation through swipes and item selection via taps.
Some wearable devices come equipped with voice assistants, allowing integration with the app. For instance, Android Wear devices have Google Assistant, while WatchOS devices feature Siri.
Integrating with their APIs enables voice command support for the wearable app—this benefits workout apps, enabling users to set timers during exercise and control other app features.
Many other features can be incorporated based on the solution’s specific requirements.
Collaborating with the developers’ community will help select the right tech stack and other necessary solutions.
Testing, Launch, and Maintenance
Once the app is developed, they can proceed to the testing phase. This is the most extensive and time-consuming stage, with the continuous involvement of QA engineers to test and resolve bugs.
After the app is ready for its initial release, it is submitted to app marketplaces with a marketing campaign to promote it to the target audience.
However, the work does not stop post-launch. Development remains an ongoing process. It requires continuous maintenance, adding new features, bug fixes, and ensuring security.
Developers must stay updated with the latest tech trends to improve the user experience. We have seen rapid growth in the tech landscape in 2023, and 2024 will also bring more innovations to the industry.