UNVEILED: April 24
AVAILABLE TO MARKET: A partial list of TV companies that have launched apps when the watches began shipping on April 24 include the AP, ABC News, AccuWeather, BET, Bloomberg, CBS Sports, CBS Sports Fantasy, CNBC, CNN, Disney Moment, ESPN, History Here from A+E Networks, MLB.com, NBA Game Time, Nick Jr., Shazam, The Weather Channel, TVGuide and Xfinity TV.
NEW FEATURES: Biggest new platform for app developers since the advent of the tablet; will open up new opportunities for alerts, news, sports and program promotions, but is a relatively untested platform that poses some serious design challenges.
PLUSSES: Whole new way to interact with viewers, particularly in the sports and news arena, where the Watches can receive alerts, scores and other information; Apple Pay features could boost mobile payments and TV commerce markets; health and fitness features will have obvious ties to lifestyle programming; strong interest in the device with U.S. watches selling out on April 10, the first day of pre-orders.
MINUSES: An untested device for news, sports and entertainment apps where users are still deciding what apps they want to install and developers can’t base designs on established patterns of usage; small screen limits potential for longer videos; Apple is struggling to meet demand with some models not shipping before June, which will limit the reach of these apps; battery life of only 18 hours may limit the number of apps consumers download and use; unclear how many young people who use their smartphones to keep track of time and virtually everything else will embrace a device costing more than a high-end phone.