Best Smartwatch Apps: How Wearables Contribute To Business Development
As cliché as this sounds, moving is living. That’s especially true in our dynamic 21st century, with its speed and, to be sure, haste. We are active in all life areas, be it work or travel. And being active, we also want to stay in touch with the world.
At first, laptops helped us achieve the desired goal by allowing us to work effectively outside the offices (say, in cozy cafes). However, these devices are rather cumbersome anyway, so compact and easy-to-use smartphones were the new solution.
But time has passed, and now we need smartwatches for business productivity. These wearables enable us to react to incoming urgent information with lightning speed, regardless of where we are and what we are doing at the moment.
Perhaps it's time to think about smartwatch app development. And we're ready to argue our position and get you on our side, so to speak.
Smartwatch Application As a Promising Startup Idea
Before explaining the essence of the above maxim, let's take care of the basics.
What are these wearables?
Today, smartwatches are full-fledged computers that we wear on our own wrists. Initially just the smartphone's ‘extensions’, they have now evolved into autonomous devices. And these devices are capable of satisfying the needs of the modern (and very demanding) user who is always busy, always in a hurry.
How do smartwatches for business (and not only) work?
These devices support GPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and other similar technologies. Besides, they have many built-in sensors, such as barometers, heart rate monitors, accelerometers, which track the user's physical condition.
Smartwatches work either independently or in conjunction with smartphones. The first case is about wearable gadgets with a SIM card, which, if desired, can be synchronized with a mobile device either.
Still, smartwatches made by large companies like Apple, Google, and Samsung are more popular now. And they work as addition and continuation of smartphones that the same brands produce.
Supported operating systems
If you’re willing to build a smartwatch app, you have to understand which operating systems it is able to work with:
WatchOS (this is a matter of Apple devices).
Wear OS, made by Google and available to various Android developers.
Tizen, developed by Samsung because the company needed an OS to work with its digital product (Galaxy Watch).
Why is smartwatch app development a good business idea?
Let's start with statistics, which are clearly more convincing than just pretty words.
So, as the infographic above illustrates, market revenues are growing from year to year (and the trend will continue). People are actively using these wearables, which means they need various smartwatch apps.
Or take a look at the dynamics of revenue growth below, which is quite impressive too:
By the way, you may also be interested in finding out which smartwatch brands are the hottest now. As the data of the last few years show, Apple is still ahead of other companies. Let's wait and see, though. Only time will tell who is the lucky winner.
What types of smartwatches are there?
These are the most common smartwatches to use. They are convenient and perform many functions at once, the main of which is to support the operation of your smartphone.
Travel smartwatches. They assist tourists and business travelers in their journeys. Smartwatch apps for travel and relaxation include weather forecasts, GPS tracking, route planning, finding places nearby, and so on.
Diving wearables. In addition to water resistance, they should have such features as temperature and depth indicators (and the like).
Children's smartwatches, incredibly useful to parents who want their kids to be safe even when they aren't around. Features include a GPS tracker with the data transmitted to a parent's smartphone, a video camera, and even educational games.
However, we’re most interested in smartwatches for business, right? But before we get to the key topic of the article, let's discuss a few more related topics.
Basic App Features on Your Smartwatch
Voice support, which is key in the case of wearable devices. Without it, many of the following features are unlikely to work properly.
Instant notifications. Any notification should come not only to the user's phone but also to his smartwatch. Surely, he decides on his own whether to respond to it, your task, as the creator of the smartwatch application, is to notify him.
Doubling of messages and emails and quick response to them. The owner of the wearable device should be able to view the main text of the message (or email) on the watch screen. He should also have a chance to answer it using voice dictation (or your suggested response templates and emoji).
Simple interaction with social networks. Not everyone needs such a feature. However, some people constantly use social networks for work purposes (including SMM managers). And they'd be glad to have the opportunity to deal with Facebook, Instagram, and other similar platforms using their smartwatches.
Of course, we're talking about simple actions, don't expect that a wearable gadget will allow you to write sweeping stories illustrated with bright pictures and post them on the FB page.
Navigation, which involves determining the user's location. The feature is implemented using a built-in GPS sensor or data from a synchronized smartphone. Many people consider GPS tracking to be almost the best app for smartwatches because it performs a lot of cool tasks, such as:
the opportunity not to get lost in an unfamiliar city (the target audience includes tourists and business travelers);
convenient route planning (the target audience is the same);
tracking the movements of the child (the feature is aimed at caring parents)
Monitoring physical activity. Smartwatches may well replace fitness bracelets. In addition to the already mentioned GPS function, they have a pedometer and offer the ability to check heart rate, blood pressure, and other health indicators.
Answering & Rejecting a call. Of course, one of the top apps for smartwatches is the management of incoming calls, the ability to answer or reject them (without using the phone).
Simplified work with alarm and timer. In some cases, such a feature can be very useful too.
Time display, which is often supplemented with the weather forecast, calendar information, and other similar data.
Unique smartwatch apps and features
These features and apps don’t belong to must-have options but they’re highly desirable.
Real-time data on the dollar exchange rate. You can also install an application to inform you of the current price of oil and gasoline (if you are interested in such data).
Anti-loss option. The feature allows you to receive a signal to the smartwatch when your phone is too far from it. So you won't have a chance to leave your phone on a cafe table or anywhere else.
NFC support, which means the ability to make contactless payments using your wearable device. You just need to bring your watch to the terminal to make a payment.
Entertainment. Surely, smartwatches won’t give you the opportunity to play complex online games, but simple ones are quite available. They’ll come in handy in moments of waiting in queues and the like.
It certainly looks great, but what does your company have to do with all of this, what are its benefits?
Okay, let's discuss why a smartwatch will be good for business.
Key Benefits of Using Smartwatches for Business
#1. Employee productivity monitoring
Any company CEO wants to understand how effectively his staff is working. Such a desire is only natural, isn't it?
Happily, there are special smartwatch apps to show the current employee's tasks and his (her) progress on each one. So your colleague only needs to look down at his wrist to find out what stage he (she) is at.
#2. Always in touch
Now the employee is always in touch with the company he works in, he won't miss anything important, regardless of the time of day, his location, and other things of the sort. Even during lunchtime, he'll receive the notification he is interested in, which means he'll be able to answer a call or message without delay.
A smartphone by itself doesn't provide the same accessibility, because it can be in your bag, and the smartwatch is right here on your wrist! And if the silent mode is activated, you still feel a slight vibration and therefore know you should respond to a new message, call, or email (whatever!).
#3. Calendar at hand
Benefits of using smartwatches for business include syncing the calendar to your wearable gadget.
There is no need to explain why such a feature is crucial in business terms. If you don't get a timely reminder about the imminent start of a meeting or, say, a conference, you risk being late for the event (or even missing it altogether!). Such cases aren't uncommon, as you can well imagine.
A calendar with marked events will help you always be punctual.
#4. Payment management
Besides, wearables are good at managing credit cards and various payments. These types of tasks are dull, tedious, and distracting, and the smartwatch can help business owners (and their employees) control work and household expenses quickly and effortlessly.
Another reason to build a smartwatch app is the opportunity to free the hands of an employee (figuratively speaking) so that he responds to notifications on the go and even while driving.
All you need to do is add virtual assistant support to the application so that programs can be controlled using voice. Thus, the user has a chance to set reminders, reply to messages, and perform similar simple actions at any time, even the busiest (in the end, he only needs to give a voice command, no need to type text!).
In Apple Watch, Siri serves as a voice assistant and allows us to fulfill many different tasks. In the case of Android Wear, the user has to say aloud "Ok Google" to activate the same feature.
We have to add that the best smartwatch apps for business always support voice control.
#6. Ideas on the go
Using the voice assistants we mentioned just above allows you to get creative around the clock. You don't even need to take out your phone to jot down the business idea coming to your mind. Just ask Siri (or another virtual assistant) to write down a few phrases, and later you'll turn them into something worthwhile.
#7. Trip management
Of course, let's not forget about travel management applications either. Surely, we're not talking about tourism, but about business trips.
Smartwatches make the following trip tasks easy to manage:
building an optimal route;
suitable flights search;
purchase of air or railway tickets.
By the way, American Airlines, incredibly famous all over the world, was one of the first to recognize the importance of smartwatch app development. Therefore, the company created a special service to work with the Apple wearables. The application sends the user the main flight details.
Another way to improve your business with wearables is through more targeted marketing campaigns. You need to implement GPS features so that your clients receive promotional offers at the moment you find it most beneficial.
Imagine this: your customer walks past your store and his smartwatch vibrates. He looks down at his wrist and reads your notification: you inform him about the annual sale at your place. “Why not?” - he thinks and enters your store.
Naturally, such an advertising approach greatly increases buying activity.
#9. Speeding up restaurant service
The opportunity to speed up fast-food service would be extremely helpful either. As a priority, these apps benefit the restaurant business. Though other companies might make use of them too (albeit in a somewhat indirect way). After all, the sooner your employee is served in a restaurant, the earlier he is going to finish lunch and return to his workplace (in a good mood and well-fed, which is also important!).
How does such a smartwatch application work?
It's pretty simple: when the ordered dish is cooked, the waiter receives a notification on the smartwatch. Thus, he can immediately serve his client, and the latter won't have to wait too long.
#10. Instant translation
If a company has to deal with foreign partners or clients, its staff may benefit from a translator of phrases and words in instant access (which is literally at hand... or, rather, 'at wrist').
The linguistic feature of the sort would be useful in many areas (among others, if you're working in the hospitality sector). Ideally, it should be activated and controlled by voice.
#11. Improving work efficiency
All of the above leads us to a logical conclusion: smartwatches for business save your employees' time and make their work more efficient. And rightly so: they easily control various work processes, get any notification on time, and answer calls and messages even when driving.
#12. Work safety
Separately, we must discuss such an important feature that wearables provide us with as the safety of employees at work. This is especially true in the production of all sorts of goods.
As the sad statistics say, every half a minute, somewhere in the world, another worker dies, which is caused by industrial accidents. And wearables are quite capable of improving the situation:
Health status. Firstly, smartwatch apps track employee health indicators: heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, etc. In case of any deviation from the norm, the wearable device sends a warning notification.
Location assessment. The geolocation feature will monitor the movement of the employee and, if necessary, inform him about any changes in the situation (which is useful in hazardous areas).
Instructions. Also, among the top apps for smartwatches are those that provide employees with instructions and guides and remind them of proper safety measures.
By the by, some companies have already started using wearable gadgets to reduce injuries at work and improve product quality. Let's say, AGCO has significantly decreased the number of defects thanks to smartwatches and accelerated the production cycle by 25%. In addition, staff training is now faster too.
A Few Tips on Smartwatch App Development
First, you need to decide on your goals and figure out why you’ve chosen to build a smartwatch app. There are several basic options:
you want to supplement your existing mobile application with its smartwatch version. This is a clever move: by doing so, you increase the loyalty of your audience and attract new users.
you intend to fill a certain smartwatch software market demand. Below we describe a few of the best smartwatch apps, and their developers did just that: they identified what the said market needed and met the demand.
you’re going to cover your own needs (or, rather, the needs of your company).
Suppose you come to the conclusion it's worth it. What's next? What should you consider in the smartwatch app development process?
Saving user time to the maximum. That is, your application should be extremely easy to use, because its whole task is to save the user's time, free him from the need to take the phone out of his pocket or bag.
Correct feature analysis. We've described the app features on your smartwatch earlier, but they are rather global, so to say, and cover a lot of user needs. They’re aimed at the software of the wearable device as a whole. The application you are planning to create may not have all of these options. And if you're thinking about an instant messenger, then important features include the ability to read the text of a message on the smartwatch screen and respond to it with a voice.
Effective notifications. Pay close attention to notifications. A service claiming to be the best app for smartwatch wearables must have a notification system, which meets the following requirements:
the text of notifications is clear, short, purely to the point;
notifications are customizable (based on user preference).
Voice commands like a must-have. Your wearables application should be voice-controlled: in the end, the smartwatch screen is too small to type text or perform other complex manipulations. Besides, the user's hands may be full. And you do remember the time-saving factor, don't you?
Supported platforms. What OS will your program support? What wearable devices will it work with? It is important to answer these questions before starting development.
Now is the right time to discuss the most popular smartwatch apps list.
Best Smartwatch Apps
We'll begin with listing the applications running on the Android OS and then move on to the programs targeting the Apple platform.
Of course, all these applications are somehow related to improving business processes.
Top Android smartwatch apps
The app is particularly useful if you like making various lists, writing notes, and more. A smartwatch with Google Keep installed will allow you to manage your notes with your voice: you'll be able to add new items to your list, cross out completed ones, and so on.
And by the way, Google Keep belongs to free smartwatch apps, which is always welcome too.
In their work, people often have to use a dictaphone to record an idea, comment, or whatever. And Wear Audio Recorder is a smartwatch application that lets you do the above without having a phone at hand. In moments of haste, while driving, in a crowded place, such an opportunity might help you out.
And don't worry: all your records will be synced to the app on your smartphone, so you won't lose any of them.
IFTTT has automated many processes and combined various services and gadgets into a single system, including Android smartwatches and devices such as Amazon Alexa. Users can customize the wearables to control the phone's Wi-Fi, record text messages, and much more.
Earlier in the article, we wrote about wearables, which help users always know where their phone is. Of course, the idea to build a smartwatch application performing this very task couldn't fail, so the Find My Phone app is in high demand. After all, losing such a valuable (and expensive!) gadget is frustrating anyway, especially if you're using it at work (as many of us do).
The program starts signaling to the user as soon as the pairing between the phone and the watch is broken (which happens when a certain distance between them is reached).
Sometimes we spend too much time trying to find the icon of the desired application installed on the smartwatch (despite its small screen!). Mini Launcher allows you to sort your apps in the way you want, which saves time and improves work productivity.
We also advise you to install the weather application on your smartwatches for business purposes. It’ll allow you to find out the hourly weather forecast at any time you need.
How is the weather related to work, you might ask? Trust us, it’s extremely useful! Among other things, it may help you plan your routes based on weather conditions. And a well-planned route means fewer latenesses and better punctuality.
And, of course, Multi Calculator is an excellent choice. It’ll help you perform various calculations, even complex scientific ones.
Best apps for Apple Watch
Effective management of current tasks is one of the secrets of good business productivity. And Things 3 can help you do just that. You get a chance to plan your day with maximum comfort using not only your smartphone but also Apple Watch (whichever suits you best at a particular moment). Surely, all data is being automatically synchronized between your devices.
The Buy me a Pie app simplifies the purchasing process by allowing you to create a shopping list using your smartwatch. Walking between store shelves, you don't need to take your phone out of your bag to find out what else to buy, you just have to look at your smartwatch.
The application with such a funny and rather speaking name seems to be ill-suited for a businessman, but the impression is deceiving. The benefits of using smartwatches for business include, among other things, the opportunity to save time, and shopping is no exception. The sooner you finish your buying chores, the sooner you return to other, more pressing issues and daily activities.
Above, we described a calculator that works with the Android Wear OS. The Apple platform also has a good application of a similar type.
In addition to performing calculations, the Apple program provides users with the possibility to convert currencies and other values (which is clear from the app name itself).
A list of the best smartwatch apps would be incomplete without Slack. You've probably heard about the program in question and may have dealt with it. It offers excellent business communication space, which so many teams take full advantage of.
Now the platform has an Apple Watch version too. It has simplified functionality, but the most important features (messages and reminders) are provided.
Android watch users are welcome to enjoy various voice recording apps (we gave one instance earlier). Apple wearables have similar programs too. And Simple Voice Recorder & Editor is a good example. As the name suggests, it allows you to use a voice recorder and save the notes you’ve made to your iPhone.
We're almost done discussing the best apps for Apple Watch. One more program to describe is aimed at finding places nearby, be it a bank, payment terminal, fast food establishment, and so on. What's more, you can control the application with Siri.