Gearing up for the Apple Watch Launch

April 09, 2015

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How cool is the Apple Watch release? Sales are by appointment only. Here are the important dates:

  • WatchKit Tools was released to developers November 18th, 2014
  • Apple Watch pre-orders begin April 10th, 2015 at 12:01am PST (essentially late Thursday night). In-store fittings begin April 10th as well (reservation only!)
  • Available for pick-up in Apple Stores April 24th.  Again - only for those with reservations for fittings or pickups.
  • Starts at $349 and goes as high as $17,000.

Features do not differ by watch regardless of cost. Face size is either 38mm or 42mm. The main driver of price differences are the materials used for the body, display and back. You can read what some of the top tech and Apple bloggers have had to say about the Apple Watch here. To get a sense for how early-adopters will be using their new Apple Watches, take a look at the featured apps.

Apps that seem to offer something new

  • the fitness related apps
  • any platform that utilizes notifications

Could be email, Twitter, airlines, sports scores and breaking news.

Over the long-run - I am not so sure I can see myself or anyone else using their Apple Watch to navigate a Target store. Using your watch to access your room instead of your room key at Starwood Properties - which is already available via their iPhone app - may be good for PR, but solves a very small problem if any at all.

But does utility matter?

The most exciting thing about the Apple Watch is that we do not yet know what it is or will become. Part watch, part computer, and part fashion - the Apple Watch may be the ultimate hub for "smart notifications". Automatic, real-time, actionable and targeted for user segments that are created dynamically. This is more than buzzwords. The way users interact and what they require - of what is essentially the 1st device - in this new category is yet to be seen. Once the initial shine of the "new" wears off, the utility of these devices is likely to be a better way to stay connected without your eyes glued to your smartphone. And that happens with smarter notifications.

The implications for App Store Optimization

Apple Watch apps share the name, description, keywords and icon with your iPhone App. You can show off your new WatchKit app with 5 WatchKit screenshots - explained below by Apple and found here.

You can upload up to five screenshots of your WatchKit app in addition to five iPhone app screenshots. WatchKit app screenshots used on the App Store are 312 x 390 pixels. Use the full space for the screenshot — do not frame the screenshot in an Apple Watch.

Aside from opportunities to be featured as an app that supports Apple Watch - there does not appear to be an advantage to releasing an Apple Watch app for the ASO benefit alone.

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