Just a few quick thoughts on what kind of apps would work and what wouldn’t work on an Apple Watch. This should also apply to Tizen and Android Wear.
- The scrolling experience is very bad on the very small screen. Apps that display a lot of data and require you to quickly scroll through are not going to work. This includes any application that has a low signal vs. noise ratio. Many social networks including Twitter, and also news applications have a low signal vs. noise ratio, and I think it is unlikely that they will work.
- Apps that increase the signal vs. noise ratio through opt-in, location and time can be quite convenient. The information should have a certain immediacy to it. A weather app that, instead of giving you an overview of the weather, simply tells you when a rainstorm is approaching is a good example. It uses your location, the current time, and information from the cloud to increase the signal vs. noise ratio. It also demands immediate attention so the taptic engine on the wrist is the best way to get notifications for this. Public transport apps are also an obvious target.
- Sports news is another genre which you give opt-in information about which team you follow. Although there isn’t really an essential immediacy to it, fans like to know what has happened, as it happens.
- I suspect that a new, more local (like 50m radius) kind of Groupon scheme would work. The shops that you frequently visit could do some time-limited offers (like 30-mins) and you would get notifications as you walk by. The time limit creates an artificial sense of immediacy which is good for sales and makes good use of the watch.
From a sales and marketing perspective, I expect brick & mortar stores to exploit the scheme that I showed in item #4.
A good argument can be made that Google Now can offer the same things and in an even better way. That is something that needs further study.
The interesting thing is that the Internet originally freed you from time constraints. Both the WWW and email allowed you to visit e-shops and to communicate with your friends in an asynchronous way, and you were 100% free to do it at your convenience. I sense that the Apple Watch will reverse this trend. It will pull us back to synchronising with what is happening immediately around us and tempt us to act immediately. I think the implications are going to be quite big.