Thanks to the industry’s exponential expected growth within the next few years, many experts have pegged wearables to be the next big trend in technology. The arrival of Apple’s Watch earlier this year jump started that trend, beginning to integrate it with the wide world of mobile apps. Now, recent news from the upcoming Android Watch will interlink wearable technology and mobile app development more than ever before.
What Are We Talking About?
The Android Watch software, prognosed to be Apple’s first major competitor in the Smartwatch market, is set to be released later this year. Upon its release, it will power wearables produced by popular Android manufacturers like LG and HTC, which are about to or have recently announced their competitor to Apple’s success gadget. And on August 31, Android dropped a major piece of news: its smartwatch OS will seamlessly integrate with iPhones.
This bit of news could have major ripple effects in the ongoing contest between Apple and Android to be the world’s dominant producer of mobile devices. Until now, the choice between Apple and Android was fundamental: iPhone owners were much more likely to choose iPads over Android tablets due to the integration possibilities, and the same would likely hold true for wearable gadgets. A consumer was likely either fundamentally “Apple” or “Android.”
But if Android’s new watch indeed integrates with iPhones as promised by Jeff Chang, lead product manager for Android Wear, the landscape could change. Suddenly, an iPhone owner looking for a smartwatch will no longer be restricted to only Apple devices, and may be much more likely to consider cost and features as decision points instead of integration limitations.
What Does it Mean For My App?
How this shift in the competitive landscape will shake out in terms of brand loyalty will be fascinating to watch and examine. We’re projecting a bit here, but there is a distinct possibility that Apple will have no choice to return the “favor” and integrate with Android technology in its next generation of wearable devices. Of course, this development will also dramatically impact the way you should view your business apps.
Does your business currently own and operate an app? If so, what platform(s) does it run on? No matter how you answer that question, Android’s announcement should signal a shift in your considerations.
Mobile apps will continue to rise in importance thanks to the continuing shift toward mobile internet usage, but integration between different and competing operating systems will rise along with it. The good news: this increasing need for cross-OS integration will likely increase the potential reach of your app to users “across the aisle.”
But it will also mean re-evaluating just how well your app can integrate across different operating systems. The last thing you’d want is for your Android app to work on an Android Wear device, but not be able to transfer its information to the user’s iPhone. In fact, this type of scenario could close the door to a segment of consumers that will only grow as devices across different operating systems continue to integrate with each other.
How We Can Help
That’s why we pay special attention to news and trends related to mobile app development. They may seem inconspicuous at first, but they tend to forecast a shift in behavior that could impact the way you conduct your business and market your app today. Staying ahead of the curve is crucial in today’s ever-shifting technology environment, and we’re here to help you do just that.
So if you’re ready to create or update a mobile app that will help your business not just this year but in the years to come, contact us. We’d love to evaluate your current efforts and help you get ready for the future.