Apple Watch and Apps Now Available
Friday, April 24, Apple’s newest flagship device launched to the public. Amid a flurry of pre-order troubles, it appears the device is actually shipping on time. Immediately following the April 10 pre-order date, supplies dwindled into the July timeframe. Even initial orders were merely given a delivery window estimate of April 24 – May 8. This ambiguity is in stark contrast to Apple’s previous launches which always guaranteed day-of delivery for new products, assuming the order was placed very early in the pre-order window. Confirmations now show, Apple Watch deliveries are on time for April 24 and, those orders with dates as late as June, are showing shipping deliveries as early as next week.
As one would expect the more eastern countries with phase one access to Apple Watch were showing pictures of their new treasures on social media. For U.S. customers, waking up to delivery confirmations from our friends across the pond was extremely encouraging. Many pre-order customers were sent shipment notifications early the week of April 20; however, details were not populated until very late in the week. From our own confirmations, some shipping data did not populate until late Thursday evening, right before delivery day.
An additional curiosity was Apple’s unwillingness to sell the product in store. Friday also confirmed, definitively, Apple Watches will not be kept as store stock for an undetermined amount of time. Some speculations still held that despite Apple’s internal memo to retail employees, Apple brick and mortar stores would carry the device on the 24th. Now that that date has gone, it is clear there was no intention to provide Apple Watch orders any where but online.
Launching along side hardware deliveries is a new section in the Apple Watch app, which first appeared on iOS 8.2. The Apple Watch companion application pairs Apple Watch to iPhone, providing access to the Watch’s deep setting toggles, and separately lists the Apple Watch third party applications. Third party applications are extensions of iOS apps, at least for now. To install a Watch app, the iPhone version must also be installed and then subsequently installed on the wearable.
Current popular applications like Twitter, Instagram, Yelp, Flipboard, New York Times, Yahoo Weather, MLB At Bat, ESPN, Nike+, Strava, Things, and Evernote are ready for installation. According to WatchAware, via MacRumors, more than 2,000 Apple Watch apps are already populated in the store for immediate download.
Although the Apple Watch apps are seamlessly integrated to their iOS counterparts, functionality is limited to bite sized portions of information. Apple Watch apps may have interactive notifications, a basic home-like state screen, and a glance. Hypothesizing, the glance view will be most popular for current third party applications as it will give a quick snapshot of the data relevant to the companion application. For example, using Tiwtter, one may see mentions, direct messages, and simple notifications, but browsing a full Twitter timeline is left to iPhone.
To check out the new Apple Watch enabled apps in a concise location, ensure you are running on the latest version of iOS (8.3). An Apple Watch app will appear on the new version and from there, the specific Apple Watch category is shown. To order an Apple Watch, do so from store.apple.com or the dedicated Apple Store iOS application for iPad and iPhone.