Welcome!

Mobile IoT Authors: Elizabeth White, Zakia Bouachraoui, Pat Romanski, Maria C. Horton, Yeshim Deniz

Related Topics: Mobile IoT, Agile Computing, Wearables, @ThingsExpo

Mobile IoT: Blog Feed Post

It’s Difficult to Create Apps for the Apple Watch | @ThingsExpo [#IoT]

Why It’s So Difficult for Devs to Create Apps for the Apple Watch

Why It’s So Difficult for Devs to Create Apps for the Apple Watch

Well, that didn’t take long. According to an article on Reuter’s some people are reporting their first impressions of the Apple Watch and, unsurprisingly, they are already complaining about the performance of the apps on the Apple Watch.

As an engineer who started my career working on real-time embedded systems for industrial automation, I can tell you what a Herculean task it can be to get a tiny piece of hardware to run very sophisticated software on comparatively low spec CPU. All the while having it execute quickly to provide a responsive end-user experience. The tradeoffs between cost, CPU capability and speed, power drain, software functionality are nearly impossible to navigate and satisfy all of your goals. There’s the old product managers joke that you’ve got three options: cheap, fast, and good, but you can only have two.

For developers creating applications for the Apple Watch or creating extensions for the Apple Watch for existing applications these complaints show two things:

  1. You have to completely re-think the nature of an Apple Watch app UI/UX
  2. You have to be laser focused on every aspect of your app that contributes to the performance of your app on the Apple Watch

Re-imaging UI/UX of apps for Wearables

One of the complaints in the article illustrates this point perfectly: “The maps app, surely the answer to wandering pedestrians’ dream, is so slow it makes me want to pull out my paper Rand McNally,” says The Wall Street Journal’s Geoffrey Fowler.

This seems to be a perfect example of not carefully examining the use case for an application and making sure that the UI/UX of the app has been properly redesigned to match the experience of the user. If I’m wandering around on foot, as Fowler supposes, then it makes no sense to have a complete maps UI on my watch, which would surely require a ton of data to be transferred from the phone to the watch and cause it to run very slowly.

Rather, the prime use case for pedestrian use of a maps app would be navigation, where the watch app is prompting me only with navigation cues such as “turn left on Main St. in 25 meters”, in which case the UI would be a simple as a left pointing arrow whose length is proportional to the distance remaining and a bit of text with the name of the next cross st.

As a developer or application product manager, your mantra should be Fit for Purpose. Don’t try and port your entire app UI to the watch. Only put that portion of the UI on the watch that is explicitly required for a particular action. Let the phone does what it does well, and let the watch do only the micro interaction required for a part of the workflow specific to using the watch.

Let’s look at another complaint from Nilay Patel of theverge.com who is quoted as saying “There’s virtually nothing I can’t do faster or better with access to a laptop or a phone except perhaps check the time.” Though the statement may be a sarcastic statement, it shows the underestimating the wearable UX.

To show just how silly Patel’s comment is, let’s look at the fitness use case. This is an example of where I think the Apple Watch has the potential to make health and fitness tracking appeal to the general public rather than just the niche market of fitness enthusiasts or quantified self-geeks.

Let’s consider the act of jogging, cycling, or even just walking. Now a lot of people already bring their phones with them when they exercise, and many of them even use specialized fitness apps like Strava, RunKeeper, MapMyFitness, MyFitnessPal etc. to track their activity, share it with friends via social media or even just listen to music while they are doing their activity.

But the key thing is that once the activity is started, the phone is usually tucked away in a pocket, a cycling jersey, a fanny pack, or even an armband, and anyone who has tried knows that its a pain in the neck to take your phone out to interact with the app while you are doing the activity.

Now, for a small niche of enthusiasts like myself and my triathlete friends, we will also wear specialized fitness trackers from Garmin or Timex on our wrists or attached to the handlebars of our bikes so we can see our data like pace, cadence, distance, elapsed exercise time, and power output.

But for the vast majority of the general public, they are not going to shell out another $300+ for a single purpose fitness tracking wearable. With the Apple Watch, on the other hand, one can easily imagine a significant number of people who would be willing to spend that money for a multipurpose device that connects to the apps on the phone and lets them interact with them naturally and easily while they are doing their various activities.

There’s no way, for example, that I’m going to pull out my very expensive and fragile iPhone (or even risk mounting on my handlebars) while I’m bombing down Panoramic Highway on Mt. Tam at 40 mph on my road bike in order to check my pace, but it would be quite simple for me to take a quick glance at my Apple Watch to see the data.

Laser Focus on App and Watch Kit Extension Performance

OK, for now, let’s assume that you’ve already carefully thought through your use cases, and now you are building your app and/or the WatchKit extension for your app.

According to the reviews published on Wednesday, the apps need upgrades to load more quickly. Again, the article says that Patel claims loading an app required the watch to pull tremendous amounts of data from iPhones.

No matter how carefully you’ve thought through the scenarios, you still need to know exactly what your app is doing and all of the factors that are contributing to the performance of the app during development, test, and production.

You need to understand how much data you are transferring and how long it’s taking.

Now you could try and instrument the app yourself with a bunch of timers and variables on your method calls, but that would be a waste of your time as a developer when you should be focused on implementing the features your users want that make sense for the watch.

Fortunately, this is where AppDynamics has you covered. With AppDynamics Mobile Real User Monitoring, you can get detailed data about how every aspect of your app and the Watch Kit Extension are performing and track the interactions of the extension with the Apple Watch.

Moreover, the AppDynamics Mobile RUM solution provides you with all of this information through a single portal where you can see how your users are distributed geographically, all the network requests and errors that are occurring, how long they are taking, how much data is being transferred, and you can dig down into any line of code and stack trace to see what’s happening in your app and how that is contributing to the end user experience.

Now get cracking on those apps and extensions for the Apple Watch, and sign up for a free trial of AppDynamics Mobile Real User Monitoring to make sure your apps are delivering the performance your customers deserve and expect.

The post Why It’s So Difficult for Devs to Create Apps for the Apple Watch appeared first on Application Performance Monitoring Blog | AppDynamics.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By AppDynamics Blog

In high-production environments where release cycles are measured in hours or minutes — not days or weeks — there's little room for mistakes and no room for confusion. Everyone has to understand what's happening, in real time, and have the means to do whatever is necessary to keep applications up and running optimally.

DevOps is a high-stakes world, but done well, it delivers the agility and performance to significantly impact business competitiveness.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
While the focus and objectives of IoT initiatives are many and diverse, they all share a few common attributes, and one of those is the network. Commonly, that network includes the Internet, over which there isn't any real control for performance and availability. Or is there? The current state of the art for Big Data analytics, as applied to network telemetry, offers new opportunities for improving and assuring operational integrity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jim Frey, Vice President of S...
@CloudEXPO and @ExpoDX, two of the most influential technology events in the world, have hosted hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors since our launch 10 years ago. @CloudEXPO and @ExpoDX New York and Silicon Valley provide a full year of face-to-face marketing opportunities for your company. Each sponsorship and exhibit package comes with pre and post-show marketing programs. By sponsoring and exhibiting in New York and Silicon Valley, you reach a full complement of decision makers and buyers in ...
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound e...
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessio...
The Jevons Paradox suggests that when technological advances increase efficiency of a resource, it results in an overall increase in consumption. Writing on the increased use of coal as a result of technological improvements, 19th-century economist William Stanley Jevons found that these improvements led to the development of new ways to utilize coal. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Thiele, Chief Strategy Officer for Apcera, compared the Jevons Paradox to modern-day enterprise IT, examin...
Rodrigo Coutinho is part of OutSystems' founders' team and currently the Head of Product Design. He provides a cross-functional role where he supports Product Management in defining the positioning and direction of the Agile Platform, while at the same time promoting model-based development and new techniques to deliver applications in the cloud.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settl...
There are many examples of disruption in consumer space – Uber disrupting the cab industry, Airbnb disrupting the hospitality industry and so on; but have you wondered who is disrupting support and operations? AISERA helps make businesses and customers successful by offering consumer-like user experience for support and operations. We have built the world’s first AI-driven IT / HR / Cloud / Customer Support and Operations solution.
LogRocket helps product teams develop better experiences for users by recording videos of user sessions with logs and network data. It identifies UX problems and reveals the root cause of every bug. LogRocket presents impactful errors on a website, and how to reproduce it. With LogRocket, users can replay problems.
Data Theorem is a leading provider of modern application security. Its core mission is to analyze and secure any modern application anytime, anywhere. The Data Theorem Analyzer Engine continuously scans APIs and mobile applications in search of security flaws and data privacy gaps. Data Theorem products help organizations build safer applications that maximize data security and brand protection. The company has detected more than 300 million application eavesdropping incidents and currently secu...