Just like Google has guidelines for designing applications for Android Wear, Apple has its own set of recommendations for apps that will run on its first wearable.
Though the Apple Watch event isn’t for a few days, the leaks are getting a bit stronger, and Bloomberg has a great story on the security measures Apple is taking to prevent launch partners from leaking information about the watch as they develop their apps. Secondary to that though, the piece talks about what Apple wants from developers in general when they make apps for the Watch.
Apple has its own list of guidelines for Apple Watch developers on its website, but Bloomberg’s sources have revealed a few pieces of information that we didn’t know about. For a start, Apple wants apps to be used for no more than 10 seconds at a time and hopes developers will design their software with that in mind. Similarly, constant notifications are extremely annoying, so the company is encouraging devs to be mindful of how often their app will send alerts to the watch. Consider an app from an IM service. Sure, you want to know when you have unread messages, but you probably don’t need a vibrating notification for every ‘lol’ and ‘ok’ that occur in a single conversation stream.
Perhaps most interesting is that Bloomberg reports some people are “holding back” from creating apps because they don’t see the use case yet. With any new product or platform (especially one from Apple) it can be easy to rush in to ensure your brand has a presence. It’s very refreshing to hear that some companies would rather be absent than offer an experience that doesn’t do a whole lot for users. Similar to how Apple doesn’t want annoying notifications or poorly designed apps to damage the perception of the Watch, it seems brands don’t want their reputation damaged by apps that aren’t useful or meaningful.