9 brands to watch out for on the Apple Watch

The Apple Watch was formally announced just last month, but developers have been creating apps for the platform since November 2014, when Apple released WatchKit — the toolkit that allows developers to begin coding and testing apps for the smartwatch.

They’d be foolish not to given Apple’s loyal fan base, said ad tech firm Fluent’s CMO Jordan Cohen.

“Not only do Apple fans buy their products, but our research shows that they are more comfortable with technology, more affluent and tend to make more purchases through their devices than Android users,” he said. “Advertisers expect this to tip over to the Apple Watch too.”

There are plenty of ways for users to interact with the watch — from receiving brief notifications to summoning Siri, according to the WatchKit software. But brands that have yet to take the plunge should walk softly, experts caution.

“There is a very fine line between enough and too much information being fed into our already-noisy and connected lives,” said David Bozin, vp of growth development at retail technology company Bindo. “Keep it clean, keep it personalized, and make it a value-add. In other words, think about the customer’s experience before anything — as trust is hard to build, but very easy to break.”

With the watch set to hit the shelves in less than a month, there are already apps for airlines, department stores and social networks for the downloading.

Here, then are a few brands that are literally ready to be put on Watch:

Target seems to have understood how utilitarian the watch can be for retail. Its app will apparently let users build a shopping list on their Apple Watches and even when you’re in the store, it tells you where to find the items you need.

American Airlines
The American Airlines’ brand may not be the strongest flying the friendly skies, but it’s smart of them to realize that the Apple Watch lends itself well to quick and concise updates. Its app will send out flight notifications, gate numbers and baggage claim information to users, let them check in. It will also aim to as act as in-flight entertainment on their wrists, letting them view maps with the time remaining until arrival while on flights.

Starwood Hotels
The hotel chain is trying to replicate the success of its smartphone app — which unlocks hotel rooms thereby cutting costs — on the Apple Watch too. Users can also get directions to their hotel through the app, check in and view their balance on the hotel’s loyalty program. The InterContinental Hotel Group is also developing its own Apple Watch app.

Nike+ Running
Fitness freaks will be able sync their iPhones and Apple Watches and save themselves the trouble of glancing at their phones while on the run. The Nike+ Running app will display the distance, duration and pace of their runs on their wrists. It can also be synced with Bluetooth headphones, so that they can listen to music while working out.

Also synched to the iPhone, the Shazam app will display the name of a song (and its lyrics) onto the Watch whenever users what to identify a tune.

The eBay app will help users stay on top of the auctions they’re tracking. The app will send outbid notices and other notifications directly, so users can react immediately if needed.

The New York Times
It’s not all music and shopping. The New York Times Apple Watch app will deliver the latest breaking news directly to your wrist — and will also have short stories written specially for the Watch. Users can then read more on their iPhones or iPads, or even tap “Save for Later” to build a personal reading list. ESPN, CNN and NPR have their own apps too.

Another efficient use of the smartwatch, the Citymapper app shows users the fastest routes to their destinations. It provides step-by-step instructions for hopping on the nearest mode of public transportation using users’ current locations, listing the times the next three trains or buses will arrive so that commuters can have a range of options. It also delivers a signal when they’ve reached their stop.

If there’s one spot where 140 characters don’t seem too short, it’s on people’s wrists. With the Twitter app for Apple Watch, users are notified with a tap when new tweets are posted, which they can quickly retweet or favorite from their Apple Watches. They can even compose their tweets using dictation, which will hopefully take autocorrect fails to an entirely new level. Facebook, Pinterest and WeChat are all also planning to launch Apple Watch apps.

Here is the full list of brands with apps on the Apple Watch.


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