Where. Are. The. Apps?

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by mcdj, Oct 8, 2015.

  1. mcdj macrumors 604

    mcdj

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Location:
    NYC
    #1
    A few months in, and a full dot software update later, the killer Apple Watch app remains notifications/SMS. OK, fine. Is that it? Really?

    Where's Blackjack? Hangman? Even tic tac toe? Pong? A freakin coin toss app? How about an RSS headline ticker complication? Still no Facebook. How come I can't summon a waiter with a tap at a restaurant? Open my garage door? Dim the lights? Send a vibration signal to a friend so they know it's time to leave the crappy party we're at?

    Come on developers! Think outside the rectangle!
     
  2. Newtons Apple macrumors Pentium

    Newtons Apple

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    Mar 12, 2014
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
    #2
    Afraid the developers "gain" for writing apps is not worth the effort. Few would be willing to pay for watch apps, not enough to attract the developers or they would be turning them out like crazy.

    Money will get people/developers to do anything, the lack of apps tells much.
     
  3. CobraPA, Oct 9, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2015

    CobraPA macrumors 6502

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    Location:
    Lansdale, PA, USA
    #3
    Pong? On the watch? How would that work?

    There's at least 2 coin flip apps. Or just do 'hey Siri, flip a coin'. It's actually built in...

    Did you see Facebook messenger? Or are you looking for regular Facebook?

    Lutron and Phillips Hue light control are on watch.

    I thought garage door control was out, but I'm drawing a blank on the app at the moment.
    (Edit) Insteon app... One of the first to support this, not personally used any of it, but one way to go.

    Doesn't the heart rate or watch touch notification vibrate on your friends wrist?
     
  4. convergent macrumors 68000

    convergent

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    #4
    I think it may just be that it takes time to figure out what works well on the Watch. Being first with something could also mean bad press if they don't get it right.

    I disagree that there is no money in it for the developers because they can easily make the enhanced Watch features an in-app purchase from their iOS app. For example, I am a 1Password user. I have bought their Mac and Windows versions that keep everything in sync between my work and home computers. I just downloaded their iOS app, which was free. But, they have a Pro version that is an additional $9.95 and the watch app is bundled in that. All the other stuff that comes with Pro I'd like to have, but wouldn't likely buy. The Watch stuff I would. It basically lets you view your secure notes on your watch. As example, we have a storage locker and there is a PIN code at the gate to get in. I keep that on my phone. With this, I should be able to pull it up on my watch.... should be much better while driving.

    Hopefully over time the apps will get better. Finding the right use case is not easy with a brand new platform.
     
  5. tresmith macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2014
    #5
    I find that it takes at least a full year for developers to write apps to fully take advantage of new hardware.

    TouchId was introduced two years ago and I'm just starting to see apps like banking use touchid to log into one's account.

    The apps/features are coming. We just have to be patient.
     
  6. igrover macrumors regular

    igrover

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2007
    #6
    Developers that I have spoken to indicate that the watch sdk is difficult to work, extremely restrictive in terms of the api's one is allowed to access, and finally there is the problem of trying to figure out what exactly you want the app to do as opposed to its iPhone version.

    In regard to money being earned for the app, yes it is true that unless a developer makes the watch app an in-app purchase, then there is no compensation for the above efforts.
     
  7. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2007
    Location:
    New Sanfrakota
    #7
    In other words, they actually have to think when creating the Watch app as opposed to simply making a copy of the iPhone app.

    Just take a look at the Google Maps watch app as an example of lazy effort.
     
  8. convergent macrumors 68000

    convergent

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    #8
    MANY years ago when I was writing code... didn't call them apps back then... I wrote an application running on a wireless terminal to be used in casinos. I think it was this one... http://pencomputing.com/old_pcm_website/PCM_5/review_telxon_ptc_1134.html

    It was a big heavy beast and used a pen for input, but it had a tiny amount of storage and a fairly liberal amount of RAM. Odd model. I had to come up with a way to use a compression program to compress everything. Even part of the OS and drivers had to be compressed. I booted just enough of the OS to load storage drivers and created a virtual drive in RAM, and then could uncompress things into that virtual drive to continue booting. It was a nightmare to deal with because there were so many restrictions on the environment.

    The developers may be suffering a bit with this... they've been seeing everything in iOS get bigger and faster for years. Bigger screens, more RAM, faster processors, etc. Now all of a sudden they are having to write code for a tiny screen, minimal and different input devices, limited storage and much slower processor, and the need to deal with the "mothership" (iPhone) for a lot of its abilities. I would imagine that is challenging enough, but then add in the completely new use case model that is unlike anything anyone has ever seen. There are no killer apps for wearable devices to leverage and use as examples. A lot of creativity is needed.

    They will come.
     
  9. Newtons Apple macrumors Pentium

    Newtons Apple

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    Jacksonville, Florida
    #9
    Maybe Apple could offer the developers some kind of incentive:rolleyes:
     
  10. Mr.C macrumors 601

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    Apr 3, 2011
    Location:
    London, UK.
    #10
    Now there's a thought. ;)
     
  11. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2007
    Location:
    New Sanfrakota
    #11
    Just the customers choosing an iPhone app with better AW app over other competing apps should be incentive enough for the developers.

    If the Google Maps AW app were better (such as including traffic information), members wouldn't be so quick to delete it.
     
  12. cosmic68, Oct 9, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2015

    cosmic68 macrumors 6502

    cosmic68

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    #12
    Based on how other apps behave-I can't blame them for not releasing apps.

    Slow. Forever to load (native or not). I literally only use the remote for my Hue lights and some of the inbuilt apps (music remote). Dark sky complications is good. I could take my iPhone out of my pocket/bag ten times in the time it takes some apps to kick in.

    Having said that-I still like my watch. I have reconciled myself with the fact it'll probably never be more then a nice time keeper, average remote control and decent notifier.
     
  13. sean000 macrumors 6502a

    sean000

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2015
    Location:
    Bellingham, WA
    #13
    Even if no other apps were released I would still be happy with my Apple Watch. There are a few third party apps I would not want to be without: Fantastical, Bring (groceries), Due (reminders) and Dark Sky all come to mind. There are others that are nice to have, but 90% of the time when I interact with my watch it is using one of those four third party apps or an Apple app. Still, I keep trying third party apps just to see if they will be useful on the watch. Some are and most aren't. Some things are best handled by the iPhone.

    I'm sure the Apple Watch has been a bit of a challenge for developers, especially now that they can rewrite their apps to run native. The timing of Watch OS2 coming out just as iOS 9 had been released has meant that many developers are focusing on improving their iPhone apps to work better with (or take advantage of) iOS 9. Native Watch OS2 apps from third parties are trickling in. The list of apps that run native and offer complications is steadily growing, and I suspect it will pick up steam as the dust settles from iOS 9.

    Just as I look at an app and ask myself if there is any value in having that app on my watch, developers probably look at their own apps and ask the same question: If I build a watch app, will anyone care to have it on their wrist in addition to their phone? For me the watch is an accessory that acts as an extension of my iPhone but also as a filter of sorts. The information my watch provides should be important, timely, easily understood in a glance, and (in some cases) easily acted on, snoozed or dismissed. Beyond that I also appreciate the little conveniences the watch provides even when I don't use that convenience very often. Those occasional conveniences include the maps and turn based directions, Yelp, Shazam, Apple Pay, etc. So I'm always curious to try a new app to see if it offers value or convenience on the watch, but for the most part I find the essentials to be a pretty short list. I am totally okay with that. My iPhone is a mess of apps I installed just to try, and then haven't deleted because I use them on occasion (or keep them around to see if they will become more useful after an update). I prefer to keep my watch a little less cluttered.

    Sean
     
  14. convergent macrumors 68000

    convergent

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    May 6, 2008
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    #14
    This was kind of the point of my long winded post before. If the apps are slow, forever to load, and don't perform well, then the developers need to learn how to work with the handicaps the watch has. I'm going to guess they suffer these problems because the developers are used to writing iOS apps that live in a world of much more resources being available. Writing in a confined space is difficult and requires learning to work with some handicaps. They'll eventually figure it out.
     
  15. Black Magic macrumors 68000

    Black Magic

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2012
    #15
    1st Gen adopters will have to wait for the goodness. Look at iPhone 6s 3D Touch. Everyone that bought it now will be waiting for new apps to take advantage of it fully. When we buy the iPhone 7, there will be quite a few apps out utilizing it so we will be enjoying it like intended. I'm thinking the Apple Watch will be the same. Second Generation Apple Watch will have all the love ready and waiting for it at launch.
     
  16. menace3 macrumors 6502

    menace3

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #16

    Most of these games/apps you want exist. There's a Pong, Tic Tac Toe, I mean there are 16 blackjack apps. One website I check weekly is watchaware.com. They list ALL apps (even those that might be available in other countries and not in the US - even beta apps). I've foudn quite a few treasure there.
     
  17. kupkakez macrumors 68000

    kupkakez

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    #17
    I've been wondering the same thing. I do have a video poker app on my watch which is neat. I thought for sure by now we'd start seeing a lot more. Also I find current "apps" on my watch to be a bit laggy? Not sure if that's the right word but sometimes they take a bit to open or just spin for awhile, it's slightly annoying. That's probably because I'm used to my apps opening up right away on my iPhone or iPad.

    Right now I'm only using it to see if I get a text but I always have my phone on my desk at work in front of my face so I'm really questioning my "need" of the watch.
     
  18. Warbrain macrumors 603

    Warbrain

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    Jun 28, 2004
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    Chicago, IL
  19. menace3 macrumors 6502

    menace3

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    Aug 13, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #19

    Exactly and not really practical. I downloaded some games and i uninstall. Would rather game on my phone than my watch. Though I used to play the hell out of my Pacman Watch. LMAO
     
  20. Warbrain macrumors 603

    Warbrain

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    Jun 28, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #20
    I don't know why anyone would want to play a game on their Watch.
     
  21. audirs5 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2014
    #21
    I'm seing the apple watch slowly turn into more of a medical device to be honest. Seems like it will just turn into something with sensors and tons of medical applications for doctors and that field. As far as its everyday use for the non medical or health data driven user, I'm not sure where to take the watch. Most text answers do require longer inputs than just the generic yes and no or whatever the watch can read and predict. Right now the watch blows in terms or speed and being that useful.
     
  22. Thepixelsedge, Oct 9, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2015

    Thepixelsedge macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2015
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #22
    I think this is very dependent on the app. I've used some native watch apps that are worse (slower, crash, freeze, etc) than when they were non-native. However, I have seen four apps in particular that make me think it's all in how the developer writes them. These 4 native apps run flawlessly in my experience and open very quickly (within about 2 seconds) on my 42mm SS.

    These are:

    OmniFocus - probably the fastest I've seen... Even faster than it's iPhone counterpart actually, complication works flawlessly

    Carrot Weather - Also very fast to open and runs smoothly, great complication... probably my favourite at the moment

    DataMan - Also works very quickly and flawlessly although I find the complication kind of useless

    Fantastical - Again very quick to open though not as quick as the three above. Complication is better than the stock apple solution but I expected more from Fantastical for their watch face complication.

    Some I've found that are absolutely terrible are:

    The Weather Network - Crashes on start, complication never works

    The Weather Channel - Same as weather network

    App in the Air - loading this app onto my watch results in the same problems as the two above however with one very interesting side effect. If the app is installed on my watch, the iPhone app will NEVER launch, it just crashes. If i remove the watch app from my watch the iPhone app begins working again. I don't know how these are related but it's something I noticed and thought was funny.

    One thing about these two groups... The good apps are all paid and the crappy ones are all free. I guess with Apple Watch apps you really do get what you pay for.
     
  23. haruhiko macrumors 68040

    haruhiko

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    #23
    While your comments about lack of apps may be valid, playing games on the watch is just plain stupid.
     
  24. sean000 macrumors 6502a

    sean000

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    Jul 16, 2015
    Location:
    Bellingham, WA
    #24
    You obviously never experienced the glory that was Number Invaders on a 1983 Casio CA-90 calculator watch! ;)
     
  25. douglasf13 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2010
    #25
    I have little interest in using any app on the Watch that requires viewing of more than a few seconds. That's what the iPhone is for.
     

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