How App Marketers Can Take Advantage of the Apple Watch
Watch the video here, or read the transcript below.
Ryan: Good morning and welcome to another edition of App Marketing Conversations. As always I am joined by Ian Sefferman of MobileDevHQ by Tune, Robi Ganguly of Apptentive. It’s a beautiful day in Seattle for us to talk about the Apple Watch, which was officially announced just about three weeks ago now. So it’s been a little bit since we’ve gotten together. So there’s an inordinate amount of things that can be said so we’ll try to focus as really specifically on just initial reactions from you guys that were maybe different than what you’d expected based on what you knew today, and then maybe we’ll give some recommendations or predictions for how it’s going to impact app marketers in the short-term. So let’s start with just initial reactions.
Ian: So I have been relatively bearish towards the Apple Watch but seeing Use Cases live with the Alpha partners that they’ve lined up, more and more I think that there is really interesting opportunities here and I think that the Use Case that they showed for Uber was like, “Oh.” Like it’s not going to save me a tremendous amount of time, but it’s going to save me time and it’s just going to be nice. And so I think the closer we get to the launch, the more I am really wanting to buy an Apple Watch. So I think just seeing it live was a huge sort of win for me.
Ryan: So can you describe the Uber Use Case?
Ian: Yeah, I mean I don’t know if I can describe it perfectly, but basically it’s you’re on your watch, you want to call an Uber that will simply show you how far out it is in one click, sort of get your Uber to you which is awesome. Like if I’m running late in a meeting and I know that I have another meeting 15 minutes away and it’s 10 minutes before the end of this meeting and I can just sort of, without really losing distraction or losing focus, and do this, get it, it’s going to be there in eight minutes. I’ll walk out and it’ll be waiting for me and I’m off, that’s pretty cool.
Ryan: Yeah, yeah. So kind of the simplicity of further simplifying the UI and the UX for users to get to what they want.
Ian: Yeah, totally.
Ryan: Okay. Robi?
Robi: So you might notice I’m not wearing my Android Wear anymore. I gave it a really good try for two and a half months and I just can’t do it, and so now I’m more skeptical about the Apple Watch because I think your Use Case that you described is awesome, and it does exist on Android Wear. Like, for example, I have the Lift app. But what you’re negating is here’s what normally happens. Oh crap, I turned off Bluetooth because my battery’s dying too fast. Now I have to pull out the phone, turn on Bluetooth, put it … I mean, all of a sudden I wasted all that effort, and any time that happened I was less inclined to use the watch. And so if it’s way better, if the experience and the execution is way better than what Android Wear has done so far it will be amazing, but I’m more skeptical of watches now than ever before.
Ian: Yep. That’s fine, we went back. That was exactly what I thought it was going to be like a couple of months ago, so maybe I’ll switch back.
Robi: Yeah, we’ll see.
Ian: But you …
Ian: … I can forecast what you’re going to say.
Ryan: Well yeah, so my expectation is that I will get one. I’m still a little … But for me it’s more a question of I’m still not convinced that I need it or really want it. It’s kind of just a cool gadget to buy. I’m certainly not going to buy the, what do they call it? The edition edition. I mean, but I think there are some interesting opportunities in the long-term around health, right? Because at the same time they announced HealthKit and this ability to do these massive studies based on data that is currently from your iPhone, but as soon as you turn that into data that’s generated actually by your wrist I think that gets a lot more interesting. So for me I think this is a novelty in the short-term, and in the long-term there’s real health ramifications that can be had. So did either of you guys, well not you, but you might have signed up for some of the studies. Did you sign up for any of them?
Ian: I haven’t signed up for anything.
Ian: I actually don’t even know much about the studies.
Ryan: Well, so you can sign up for a cardiovascular study where Stanford is taking the data. I think they got 10,000 or 100,000 sign ups in the first three days to do a massive heart study. There’s one on diabetes, there’s one on asthma, etc. where they’re taking the data out of, obviously it’s private, taking the data out of your iPhone and using it to create medical research.
Ryan: Which I think is real interesting.
Robi: That is pretty awesome, and it’s actually … I think the biggest thing about that was that felt like a place naturally Google would have gone to first. I would have expected them to be the first ones to be like, “Hey, here’s this data! Here’s these research tools!” But no, the fact that Apple’s getting on that is pretty awesome.
Ryan: Yeah, totally. Yeah. Okay, so let’s talk about maybe some, based on what we know today, what would the first things you would be doing as an app marketer? Regardless of whether or not you’re going to have an Apple Watch app.
Ian: For the Apple Watch, though, yeah?
Ryan: Yeah, like how are you going to use the Apple Watch to drive usage of your …
Ian: Yeah. You know, if maybe I’m in sort of the mobile first world, I’m thinking about how I can simplify my Use Case. If I’m a brand, I might be holding still. I’m not sure there is too much near term opportunity there. I think for the Ubers of the world, for the gaming folks of the world, I think casual gaming actually could be really interesting on that, but at some retail and some brand stuff I’m not sure how I would fully take advantage of that yet.
Robi: Yeah, I think I’m at the same place. If you’re a large brand, if you’re a large consumer focused company and you’re making mobile apps, a lot of times you’re already resource constrained and I think in that situation I would wait, I would watch what adoption looks like before spending some of my very valuable resources on a speculative watch play. I would absolutely be talking about the Use Cases and thinking about the ways that you might execute on it, but it doesn’t seem like the most important thing you could be doing right now.
Ryan: Yeah, so my opinion would be to whatever people do, they should avoid just doing notifications, right?
Ryan: So I would guess one of the things that drove you insane …
Robi: Yeah, oh gosh!
Ryan: … because I know Apollo was like, “Stop notifying me of stuff!”
Robi: All the time. It was like a bang, bang, bang. Yeah.
Ryan: Right, it’s insane. So if I were, and again I’ll speak for this as a gaming person, I would think of unique experiences that could add to the actual iPhone or iPad content, right? So you could imagine a scenario where King does something where they do a tiny mini game on your Apple Watch that lets you earn more hearts in Candy Crush or something like that. right? So maybe more of to your point, maybe it’s more brand extension than, at least, for gaming companies. Okay, so any final thoughts on the Apple Watch that you want to add, or just excited to see it? Can’t wait to buy that and an iPhone.
Robi: I will say I think they’re doing a much better job telling the story to consumers. I just think that’s Apple, right? The story that’s out there to consumers of the Apple Watch is much more believable and coherent than what we’ve seen with Samsung and Android Wear and all that stuff.
Ian: Yeah, I agree. I mean, based on Motion, which is Apple Zebo and not what you see on the Android where it was nearly as watchable.
Ryan: Right. Well, I read something interesting the other day. So two points here, so one there’s no Safari, right? Which that’s okay. And two, it doesn’t seem like anyone has any idea of what the processor is, how much memory is there, like none of the feeds and speeds stuff has even been discussed, right?
Ryan: So for one, it’s just all the emotional part, not what kind of computer is this. So I think that’s a shame. Okay, well thanks very much. Thank you for watching. Make sure to like this video, subscribe to our channel, and check out the segments from Ian and Robi.