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How to Create the Best Smartwatch Apps

How to Create the Best Smartwatch Apps


Technology doesn’t dwell and a significant amount of new devices presented on the market is a solid proof. There is only so much you can impress smartphone users with, so developers decided to follow another path by creating wearables and of course apps for them. Those can be smartphone supplements as well as autonomous devices.

Wearables are invading market offering various shapes, sizes and features, but most of all efficiency. It is not just a wholesome gadget, but a stylish accessory too. Even world-renowned designers such as Marc Jacobs have their own smartwatches and Hermès collaborated with Apple for their original line.
Apple Watch Hermès

Apple Watch

Apple Watch is a smartwatch first introduced by Apple Inc. in 2014. It is mostly health-oriented and only works in integration with other Apple devices via Bluetooth.

Apple Watch applications are developed using WatchKit SDK framework for watchOS.

You should pay attention to interaction methods such as Digital Crown, Side Button, Force Touch and Gestures and implement them into your app functionality.

Apple Watch offers two ways of receiving information:


Glance is a short fragment of information customized for the user. It can be weather, football match results etc. It requires user interaction - to see a glance, one must swipe up from the clock screen.


Notifications don’t require user interaction, they just show up at a certain time. It can be a reminder, social media notification, voicemail etc.

You can download apps for your Apple Watch via Watch application or App Store on your iPhone. You can also arrange applications on the Carousel screen (which can turn into quite an entertaining activity).
Apple Watch

Android Wearables

While Apple Watch is an iPhone extension, Android Wearables are much more independent. You don’t need a smartphone to be able to work with the watch, and at the same time your smartwatch is able to connect to both Android and iOS devices.

Context Stream (Suggest)

Context stream is a list of cards that provides user with brief updates, available to swipe up and down. These cards might contain buttons so user can perform basic actions right from the cards. The cards are supposed to assume when it’s efficient to give info to the user and appear in a stream in appropriate time. That way there is no need to open an application to see the news.

Cue Card (Demand)

Cue cards require user interaction. It can be either voice-controlled or tapping a screen background. It just launches applications and responds to users’ guidance, so it is not necessary for developers to predict user behaviour.

You can download apps on your Android wearable via web version of Google Play Store or directly through the Play Store on the Watch.
Android Smart Watch

Essential Features

  • Productivity. Make the most of available interaction methods so users could feel comfortable using your app.
  • Focus. Your app must be highly concentrated. The whole point of wearables is fast access to necessary features and information, so if loading or using your app takes up too much time, the customer will probably not use it again.
  • Compatibility. Wearables are oftentimes supposed to cooperate with a smartphone. Including features that expand your app’s functionality that way wouldn’t hurt.
  • Single-tasking. Taking into consideration the measurements of devices we are talking about today, it is necessary not to overload the screen. Divide the information into several screens or use separate cards so it’s much easier to perceive.
  • Care. Continuing the previous point, make the UI enjoyable to use. Keep push-notifications mild, so they are rather appreciated than annoying. Watch the designs and font sizes, so they are comfortably readable and easily interacted with.
  • Practicability. Narrow the amount of received data, so the battery doesn’t get drained too fast.
  • Rationality. And finally, don’t overload your app. Despite the size, there are a lot of features and functions in smartwatches that can be considered while making up application capabilities. Only include what is necessary for your exact app.

Do you have a question?

Creation of watch application differs from creating a smartphone one, and purposes and types of wearables themselves are numerous. The common mistake is trying to fit smartphone application features into a watch app, but it would be a total waste. One must define the purpose of their app and follow it while designing and developing.

If you have any additional questions or want to develop your own smartwatch app, make sure to contact us. Thunderrise Dev Tem would love to analyze your idea and turn it into a top-rank product!