In Pictures: 11 early Apple Watch apps for business
Apple's first smartwatch is set for release in April. These 11 business apps for productivity, ERP, CRM and more, should be available shortly after the Apple Watch, and all are valuable tools for professionals.
Apple Watch Apps for Business
On March 9, Apple at last revealed more specifics about the much-anticipated Apple Watch. CEO Tim Cook said that following the release of the company's WatchKit SDK in November, developers created "thousands of new apps," a few of which were showed off by Apple vice president of technology Kevin Lynch. (You can jump to the 68-minute mark of the presentation video to see Lynch demo Watch apps.) Apple also revealed the new Apple Watch software, which is part of iOS 8.2 (now available) and lets you browse, buy and download apps for the watch.
Clear for Apple Watch
Clear is an elegantly designed tasks and reminders app for iOS ($5) and Mac ($10), with a bold interface that seems well-suited for small-screen smartwatches. The developer, Realmac Software, created an Apple Watch version that lets you view to-do items and upcoming reminders and swipe tasks away when they're completed.
Evernote for Apple Watch
The popular note-taking and content-sharing service Evernote will have an Apple Watch app that lets you dictate new notes, search for notes (including those made near specific locations), and see recent notes on their wrists. The app lets Watch wearers set reminders and check off to-do list items, as well as start reading notes on the Watch and then finish them on an iPhone. Evernote is a "freemium" cloud service with free mobile apps.
Invoice2go for Apple Watch
Invoice2go is a cloud-based service for professionals, with mobile apps, designed to create price estimates, purchase orders and invoices, as well as provide at-a-glance glimpses of who owes money (and who doesn't) via charts and reports. The Apple Watch app uses geofencing to "prompt you to start tracking time" when you arrive at job locations, according to Apple's Watch apps page. The Watch app can also be used to modify start and stop times, send invoices, and receive notifications when payments are received. The service starts $49 a year.
OfficeTime for Apple Watch
OfficeTime is a time-tracking tool for Mac, PC and iOS. With the Apple Watch app, OfficeTime users can walk into meetings and tap a button in the app to start recording time. When they're done, another tap stops the clock. OfficeTime, like other time-tracking services, provides a breakdown of where you spend working hours — an essential feature for professionals who charge hourly rates, such as attorneys. The desktop software costs $47, and free and paid ($8) iOS apps are available.
Prompt for Apple Watch
Prompt is an iOS app that's currently in development, according to Wareable.com, and it will eventually have Apple Watch companion software. Both apps are designed to help with live presentation by letting you see what you need to talk about, when and how much time you have left for each topic.
Salesforce for Apple Watch
Salesforce's Apple Watch app consists of three elements: Salesforce Analytics Cloud, Salesforce1 and the Salesforce Wear Developer Pack. The Analytics Cloud unites data streams from various sources (including third parties) and, on the Watch, it provides "a quick glance of your most recently viewed dashboard," according to Salesforce. Watch wearers can also use voice search to look for reports or view dashboards. Salesforce1 delivers notifications to salespeople, service agents and marketers. And the open-source developer pack lets Salesforce1 developers create enterprise apps for the Apple Watch that connect to the Salesforce1 platform.
Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) for Apple Watch
Hotel-giant Starwood's SPG app made an appearance at Apple's March 9 presentation, where attendees saw "rich" notification information about an upcoming stay at the W New York – Times Square hotel. The SPG Apple Watch app provides a variety of hotel information, including reservation confirmation numbers and, after you check in, room numbers. The app can also be used as a digital key to unlock rooms, though this feature will be available at only approximately 150 W Hotels, Aloft and Element properties around the world, at least at first.
TL;DR for Apple Watch
TL;DR is a free iOS app, released earlier this year, that's designed to make it easier to browse Gmail messages. Those messages appear in a feed as "cards" that provide a quick glimpse of the message subjects so you can take the necessary action, such as answering an email with a pithy thumbs-up icon. The Apple Watch app provides notifications for new messages, estimated read times for each email, and a way to open up messages on an iPhone for a closer look.
Twitter for Apple Watch
Social media marketers (and junkies) won't be left out of the Apple Watch party. The Twitter Watch app shows, at a glance, the top trending hashtags. You can opt to be notified (via haptic feedback) when new tweets from followers arrive, and the app can be used to retweet or favorite the messages. You can also compose tweets via voice commands.
Uber for Apple Watch
Need to catch a last-minute ride to your next business appointment? The upcoming Uber Apple Watch app should make the process a breeze. After opening the app, you see how soon a car can arrive, a map view of the driver's location, a photo of the driver, and details about the car, including license plate number. The app provides notifications when drivers arrive. An Uber account is required, of course.
WeChat for Apple Watch
WeChat, one of approximately two zillion messaging apps available for iOS, Android and other platforms, is coming to the Apple Watch. When you receive notifications for WeChat messages, you tap a button on the Watch to open the app. To reply, you can add a text message or choose from among various cartoonish emoticons. WeChat comes from a Chinese developer and is hugely popular in Asia, so if you're doing international business in those parts, you might want to give WeChat a try.