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Apple Watch Apps Need to Be Useful, Not Fluff, Apps Expert Says

The head of Appster offers some interesting perspectives on the challenges around smartwatch apps for businesses.

Apple Watch

With the Apple Watch launching to consumers on April 24, lots of companies have been getting in line to build their own Watch apps so they can get in on the frenzy and get in front of the eyes of users as they adopt the new smartwatches.

The problem with that, said Mike Wehrs, head of U.S. operations for Appster, a mobile app development services company, is that some companies are seeking Apple Watch apps, but don't have any goals for what it might be and how it might improve and enrich the experience for users.

"I call them the CEO apps," Wehrs told eWEEK. A company CEO will decide that the company wants an app for the Watch and then ask someone to build it for them.

When Wehrs or another app expert asks what they want the app to do, the answer is startling, he said. "They say, 'I don't know. I just need an app.'"

That's not a great way to approach it for sure.

"We're getting a lot of calls like that," said Wehrs. "I think that's going to be the first generation of apps that we need to be careful about."

At the same time, app developers have their own issues with developing apps for the Apple Watch due to huge demands on services, but a tiny battery for the devices. That means that battery life will be an issue and that any apps have to carefully control, limit and then quickly shut down any power demands to ensure longer-lasting power for users, said Wehrs.

"This puts a whole different challenge on app developers than writing an app for a phone," he said. "We have a specialized team that's been looking at this from a power-management point of view. Overall, I think this is really going to bring the power issue to the forefront. It's a big user, and I think it's something that's being underestimated by people."

Wehrs also shared his views about Apple's intriguing marketing plans for the Apple Watch, which includes appointments for consumers to shop and required in-store pickups at least for early customers so they can get some hands-on training with their complex new devices.

The idea is great, he said, because those early customers will be unleashed as enthusiastic and knowledgeable users who will then evangelize to others about the watches, he said.

"Apple is smart for releasing it in stages through appointments with customers and special training sessions with early users so they can be ambassadors to all of those who follow," Wehrs said. "We think that Apple's being really smart for the success of the category."

Wehrs has some interesting perspectives, especially on the frenzy for apps among businesses.

It will be interesting to see how it all pans out as the Apple Watch begins to show up on the market.