Successful entrepreneurs see opportunities before they become mainstream. With Apple about to release the Apple Watch, it will usher in a new market of buyers looking to download Apple Watch apps for their shiny new watches. There will be a lot of money to be made by those who are first to market, so starting now will give you a head start on the competition.
How to build apps for the Apple Watch
You might be surprised to learn that the Apple Watch doesn’t run apps on the watch itself. The Apple Watch relies on the iPhone, acting more like a smart display for iPhone apps. The Apple Watch really only extends the capabilities and features of existing iPhone apps. So if you want to create Apple Watch applications, you would want to update your existing iPhone apps to work with the Apple Watch or create a new iPhone app altogether.
If you have never developed for the iPhone or iPad (or if you never went through the process of hiring a developer- freelancer or in-house), you will want to start by researching and learning what it takes to build a new app for Apple devices to get your feet wet.
Instead of immediately diving into the tech, and figuring out how to program applications for the Apple Watch, I highly recommend instead starting with a brainstorming session for your app idea. Solidifying your idea, or couple of solid app ideas, will not only give you the confidence to see the project through to completion, but also allows you to map out what critical concepts you want to learn first. Then, you will want to see what others are already doing, how app developers are planning to take advantage of the new platform, figuring out if you want to create something new and novel, or improve on already proven ideas. Take the time to combine your research and brainstorming to lay the foundation of your app idea.
Once you have your idea(s), you can head over to Apple’s official Apple Watch developer site and start going over everything. For developers, you will be using Apple’s development kit called WatchKit. Check out the WatchKit site and grab the latest release of Xcode which includes WatchKit.
Looking for someone else to build your app
If you are not planning to code the app yourself, this will be a good time to start looking for a developer. You can use sites like Elance or Odesk to find developers looking to take on projects. Also, although it is an extra expense, hiring a designer is more important these days than ever before. A lot of successful apps prove that better designed apps outsell their similar competitors, usually even if the competitor has the better application!
Building your app yourself
A lot of non-developers have learned to build apps with the tons of great resources available online today. If building an app on your own interests you, I highly recommend checking out Udemy. I briefly covered Udemy in Learn HTML and CSS, but it is without a doubt a powerful resource to utilize, and one of my personal favorite sites to learn code. You can learn so much through Udemy from basic code skills to frameworks like Django!
There are great courses including this one I found while doing research for my own Apple Watch idea. It totally blew me away with how comprehensive it is for everyone including people with no programming experience! There are other great Apple Watch courses on Udemy for free, but they assume you already have some programming knowledge.
No matter how you decide to develop your app idea, the important thing is to just get going. The Apple Watch launches on April 24th and Apple announced today that it is now accepting apps for review.
UPDATE: I have now started developing my own Apple Watch app and although it costs a little to take the course, it is well worth it, especially considering the money that will be made when the app gets released. Fortune magazine is estimating Apple will sell from 8 million to about 41 million watches… holy smokes, that’s a lot of new customers to reach!
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