Curious About Apple Watch Apps? WatchAware Provides Interactive Previews

Apple’s first wearable is right around the corner, and the Apple Watch will likely debut along a very healthy selection of third-party apps. It might be hard to envision just how those apps will work, however, especially for potential buyers who don’t have the luxury of being able to wander over to an Apple Store and check one out in person. WatchAware, a new site from the AppAdvice team focusing on providing Apple Watch media coverage, has created interactive previews of upcoming Watch Apps to let users see form themselves in a browser how they might work on the wrist.

There are currently 27 previews in total, including apps like Run 5k, Todoist, Deliveries and Infinitweet that have worked directly with WatchAware, and prominent Apple and partner apps like Facebook, Twitter, Maps, Pinterest and more. For each, you can see either the app, a glance (a focused display of your app’s most relevant information) or a notification, or a combination of the views listed if a developer has chosen to provide more than one.

The previews offer limited interactivity, showing some aspects of the Watch App’s functionality as a brief video demo, while letting users actually tap on other elements (both scrolling and tapping the digital crown to return home work on notifications, for instance) to load up preview clips of other features at the same time. Each interactive app demo is embedded in an Apple Watch hardware mockup so you can see what it would look like in the stainless Apple Watch version of the forthcoming iOS wearable. A brief description is included to give a general overview of the app’s functionality.

The AppAdvice team decided to build this site in part to help readers understand what the upcoming Apple Watch might be useful for in their own personal lives. There’s a lot of uncertainty around this new category, according to Mahmoud Hafez, AppAdvice founder.

“It was hard to start a new site from scratch since we have a strong user base at AppAdvice,” he explained to TechCrunch. “When the iPad launched we never considered making an iPad specific site, because the apps were so similar –  we saw it as more of a convenience form factor. With Apple Watch we see a true paradigm shift. We’re going to have radically different experiences and apps than we have on the phone. We’ve spent a lot of time thinking about if this device deserves to exist and how it will change computing.”

WatchAware hopes to eventually make it possible for developers to use their technology to display their own apps, and will be working with anyone who contacts in the meantime to build a preview for use on the site together. They’re also looking to add additional interactive preview for detailed looks inside each app, over and above what they currently offer.

At this point, most people can imagine how a mobile app will work based on simple screens or a video demo, but that’s not the case for Apple Watch software. Providing some kind of mechanism that shows what users can expect from apps before they even own a wearable is indeed a useful service, and may help pave the way for more widespread adoption of the tech to come.