Over the last few decades, we have consistently talked about how technology evolves rapidly. But we haven’t previously witnessed the pace of development that we’re seeing now.
Just when we were getting great at building mobile apps, we have also had to embrace the innovative possibilities presented by wearable technology.
This trend is important to pay attention to as the wearable device market is expected to be worth approximately $34 billion by the year 2020 with about 111.9 million units expected to be available in the market over the next couple of years.
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This means that wearable app development is well underway and the race is now on to build the next best thing. But before you get your hands dirty, what factors should you consider before building a wearable app? Let’s take a look our top 5!
1. The goal of the wearable application
Before you do anything, clearly device the purpose of your wearable application. The idea behind the app needs to be clearly defined with its intended use and the tools needed to achieve it.
Once you’re clear about what you’re trying to achieve here, it’s also a good idea to take a good look at the marketplace to ensure that there isn’t an app that’s overly similar.
While all this might sound silly to some, you must remember that wearables belong to a different product category than smartphones. In fact, they offer a different set of features and user experiences (UX).
Additionally, there isn’t much similarity when it comes to their mode of function. As they aren’t as robust as mobile apps, the approach to app development will also be quite different.
2. Restricted UI
Wearables are highly portable and are usually much smaller than mobile phones. As a result, it’s critical to consider the restricted screen space and limited computing power when building the user interface (UI).
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Conducting some research to determine potential use cases can be highly beneficial before you start writing a single line of code. This is because this approach can help identify the best UI and ease of access that’s best suited for the target audience.
3. Enhanced end-user experiences
If you can’t deliver an enhanced UX to the end-user, all your efforts will be futile. Like with mobile phones, UX is critical for wearable devices (even though they’re designed in a different way).
One way to approach this is to enable access to certain features of the app without the support of a mobile phone. This will ensure that your wearable app is also highly user-friendly (without the need to juggle multiple devices to access one feature).
As the technology evolves, developers can expect to do a lot more within this restricted ecosystem to deliver enhanced UX, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t keep striving to achieve the most right now.
4. Energy efficiency
With small hardware, you will definitely end up with an even smaller battery with lower energy capacities. As a result, you have to ensure that your app is as light as possible to allow for adequate use.
This means developers should consciously avoid any unnecessary extravagances and optimize it for load consumption. While it can be tempting to just focus on the “wow” factor to deliver enhanced UX, it will be pointless if the battery is dead within minutes.
5. Updates and patches
Right from the planning stages, developers also need to address app maintenance and updates. It’s not going to be as easy as looking for updates and patches for glitches on a smartphone, so it’s important to figure out how one can seamlessly deploy it.
As wearable applications and devices are still somewhat new in the marketplace, the resources available for wearable app development can be limited. So developers should also expect to go it alone (at times) when trying to identify the best approach forward.
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If so, click here to schedule a free consultation with one of our in-house experts.