There are few things more sad to the iPhone faithful on launch day than a connected, yet unfulfilled, Apple Watch (beyond the 20 or so apps Apple includes).
Fear not. At least a dozen Seattle-area companies are releasing Apple Watch apps in time for Apple’s release of the actual watch on April 24th. They range in functionality from simple notifications, to menus and actions that are built into the Watch app. Most are free; some charge for the primary iPhone app.
The airline, known for tech savvy going back to the first online ticket sales and web check-in at the turn of the century, brings time-sensitive notifications to the Apple Watch.
Key features: Check-in notification, connecting gate information, gate change, countdown to start of boarding, countdown to landing, and flight delay/cancellation notification.
The stand-alone division of NBC News is all about brief, verified news alerts, and the app continues that functionality — with an experimental twist.
Key features: Displays five alerts at a time (mix of what’s recent, what you’re following, and what’s nearby). Unique is a button to feed anonymous news tips back to Breaking News that reads, “See news near you? Tap to alert us.”
Comcast (Xfinity TV)
Comcast isn’t just in the Seattle area, of course, but has a huge presence — and its Xfinity TV app would like to extend that to your wrist.
Key features: X1 set-top box control by touch or voice, including the DVR (pause, fast-forward and rewind), voice search for video with results displayed on the TV (“What’s on tonight at 8?”), and, of course, changing the channel (if your physical remote isn’t handy).
Key features: Nearest home for sale at a glance, new home search notifications, walking and driving directions, plus “save” and “trash” functionality for keepers and not-so-much.
Travel is a popular app category, and Expedia tries to go flight-and-hotel comprehensive for its customers.
Key features: Check itineraries, see flight gate, terminal and time information, and get hotel check-in and check-out times, ratings, locations, addresses and phone numbers.
Fifth Star Labs (Sky Guide)
Look up from your Apple Watch, and it’s all about astronomy and orbiting metal.
Key features: Calendar and notification of upcoming astronomical events (full moon, meteor showers, eclipses), plus alerts of when the International Space Station is overhead so an astronaut might take your tweet.
Microsoft (OneDrive, OneNote, PowerPoint)
Key features: Use as a remote for PowerPoint slides with a tap to advance or go back, and see elapsed time. Pull up recent OneNote notes or dictate new ones. View or find photos stored in OneDrive.
Omni Group (OmniFocus)
Omni Group’s OmniFocus app is, well, focused on distilling task information you need immediately that even a quick glance at the iPhone can’t provide.
Key features: Time and title of your next activity, list of most essential items that day, check off completed items, “gentle” wrist reminders, and record spoken ideas to its database.
House hunting tied to real estate agents takes priority in the new app.
Key features: Nearby real estate listings and open houses (with photos, maps, prices, number of bedrooms, square footage and days on market). Dictate and record your thoughts as you look, then — if so moved, or willing to be — contact a real estate agent for a tour with a tap.
The mermaid of caffeination promises that “many of the same features you love about your iPhone app are now available on your wrist (where available).”
Key features: Pay for your beverage, view stars and rewards, and locate the nearest Starbucks (or just look over your shoulder).
Zillow-owned Trulia wants you to know, in one of two ways, when homes are available on the market nearby.
Key features: Notification of homes for sale or rent based on proximity (automatically enabled via iPhone) or by opening the app to see what’s nearby (traditionally manual), plus photos, local schools and crime info, property data (square footage, number of bedrooms), and directions. A tap on a “Request Info” button sends a message to the listing agent.
Even though Zillow owns Trulia, the two apps appear to have somewhat different features, but both go after home shoppers.
Key features: Notifications about — and browsing of — nearby homes that are available, and access to saved searches. Perhaps most zinteresting, it provides Zestimates of home values.
Who have we missed? If you know of other Pacific Northwest companies with Apple Watch apps, comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org.