Apple Announces New Apple Watch Features
by Jim Lundy and Adam Pease
At its recent developer conference event, Apple announced the release of watchOS 7, its new update to the Apple Watch, which comes with an intriguing set of new features. Foremost among these new features is what Apple calls Face Sharing, a new tool that enables users to configure and share watch faces between one another. In this blog, we explore the new Apple Watch announcements and offer our thoughts on what they may mean for Apple down the road.
Apple Makes Watch Faces Sharable
The biggest Apple watch announcement to come out of Monday’s keynote was the new, customizable watch faces that will roll out with watchOS 7. The new OS will allow users to customize their own faces, selecting the apps and widgets they want to see on their home screen.
Application developers will also be able to develop new custom watch faces that will be available to users on the Apple App Store. This means that Apple’s wearable devices will have a new level of configurability for unique use cases. With custom watch faces, developers can create streamlined interfaces to match the needs of many specific situations where a phone or computer would not be easily accessible.
On the consumer side, families will be able to share watch faces that include important parts of their schedule or chore list. Athletes can use the configurable watch face to feature key information; a skier, for instance, might want to know the snow density in her area. In general, the new watch faces will allow Apple consumers to customize their wearable technology more than ever before. The new watch face features have applications in the enterprise as well.
Wearables in the Enterprise
There is considerable potential for wearable devices in the enterprise. For corporate events and meetings, for example, a team of knowledge workers equipped with Apple Watches could receive customized watch faces with key meeting event details, or actionable pop-ups for polls and votes.
Tech wearables could also be used for sales teams. Developers of sales enablement platforms could design custom watch faces to relay key information to reps on a dashboard in real-time. Sales managers could use watch faces to deliver important advice to their teams.
For high-stakes industries such as engineering or pharmaceutical design, workers could be equipped with customized watch faces that keep them updated on important numbers or perform necessary calculations regularly.
The Era of Agile Applications Across Devices
Apple is pushing to develop the wearable technology of the future, a task that requires not only hardware, but software integrations that connect to a broader ecosystem of applications. Apple has already advanced this strategy with its system-wide applications like Messages, Notes, and Photos. Different mobile and wearable devices are a natural extension of this approach, which aims to make it effortless to access Apple offerings anywhere and on the go.
In combination with its announcement to switch from Intel processors to ARM processors, which it has used previously in iPhones, this announcement from Apple signals a shift towards an integrated, compatible ecosystem that is accessible across devices. Agile applications are in high demand in the enterprise and the consumer world. Apple is positioning itself well for the future with these announcements.
Apple’s new configurable, shareable watch faces bring a new degree of customization to its wearable technology offering. With these new features, the Apple Watch has a new set of use cases in the consumer world and in the enterprise as well. It remains to be seen if the developer ecosystem will jump on the opportunity to develop custom watch faces. In the meantime, Apple is pushing forward into an agile future.