Apple is promising “all-new ways to do all kind of things” when its Apple Watch starts shipping later this month.
During a news event this morning, the iPhone-maker ran through a number of those things, ranging from checking your heart rate, to hailing an Uber, to answering calls and to buying products via Apple Pay.
Based on a preliminary list, more than a dozen apps will be available when it launches on April 24, but presumably the list will grow as developers come up with new ideas and early adopters demand more services for the pricey gadget.
Currently, there’s two kinds of applications for the Apple Watch: The kind that sit on the iPhone and send notifications and information to the Watch, and the kind that reside on the Watch and offer users a full menu of action items.
Here’s a look at some of the companies willing to take the plunge and invest in the Watch before it ever lands on a single wrist:
- Redfin says its real estate app will allow you to find nearby homes for sale and open houses. Users will be able to dictate their thoughts about homes as they are touring them, or contact a Redfin real estate agent to schedule a home tour with a tap.
- Expedia’s app will alert you of upcoming trips and allow you to get detailed flight and hotel information. For hotels, you can access ratings, locations, addresses and phone numbers. Other travel apps include American Airlines, Starwood Hotels & Resorts and TripAdvisor.
- PlayKids helps you monitor your kid’s activities on a nearby iPhones or iPads. When they’ve watched enough video, use your watch to hit stop, or send messages notifying them its time to go to bed, brush their teeth or eat dinner. Maybe if they don’t listen to you, they’ll listen to their apps?
- Health is a big category, too, with multiple apps promising fitness-related activities. Nike+Running and Runtastic will track your speed and distance on a run; Lifesum monitors food and water intake to help you monitor your dieting goals; and Strava records work-outs, as well.
- The social networking options are slim, however, with the two major ones being Twitter and Instagram. On Twitter, users can monitor their feed, get notified of a new tweet; retweet a favorite; or use dictation to post a thought. Instagram promises users the ability to view photos from their feed, and leave emoji comments.
- Business users are a clear target market, with many developers creating relevant apps for the enterprise. Salesforce, Mayo Clinic Synthesis for doctors, Invoice2go, and CommitTo3, a task reminder, are all options.
- Finally, e-commerce is one emerging category, with apps so far coming from eBay, Fandango, OpenTable and Target. The Target app will identify when you are in a store, and alert you to nearby items on your shopping list.