Apple Watch gains yet another ‘killer app’

You can look forward to even more in a few months time after WWDC

Apple, iOS, iPhone, Apple Watch, security, smartwatch
Credit: hobvias sudoneighm/Flickr

Apple Pay remains the killer app for Apple Watch, but a new home security solution from Dutch smart home firm, smanos, means you may soon have another app to wrap around your wrist.

Watch your home

That’s because the company has introduced its L020, W100 and W020 apps for the Apple Watch. The three apps integrate with the company’s home security solutions for door and window entry, flood detection and home/office motion sensing so you will be alerted when sensors are triggered, meaning you’ll know if there’s some miscreant in your home within seconds of illegal entry taking place.

In a press release, Brian Stark, general manager of North America for smanos says: “The immediacy and convenience Apple Watch apps provide to consumers can’t be overlooked when it comes to home security. With the new app, smanos users can stay even more connected to what’s going on at their homes.”

How it works

Which is all very nice, but in order to use the apps you must also purchase and install one or more of the company’s home security systems the cost of which is between $129 to $199, though there is no monthly fee for the security they provide.

Once installed, users can use the Apple Watch app to arm and disarm their system and receive activity alerts, so they can check for unauthorized activity in their offices or homes. The systems use a home hub to connect the devices, supplemented by Wi-Fi, a landline phone and Ethernet connectivity on the more expensive models.

Now I can’t guarantee that these solutions are effective as I’ve not looked at them. It is also worth pointing out that these are not the first home security products to ship with support for an Apple Watch app – Alarm.com got there last year and the expanding range of HomeKit devices already includes things like Watch-controlled door locks, lighting systems and more.

Building the ecosystem

What’s key however is that each of these apps builds on what is already available to create a stronger, fitter, more vibrant supporting ecosystem around Apple Watch and iOS in general. That’s pretty critical as we approach WWDC 2016, where I think Apple is quietly preparing a few big surprises for us all.

What matters is that you can expect the first generation iOS smartwatch apps to become more effective once the much-improved next-generation Apple Watch is introduced. Recent stats from Fluent claimed over three in five Apple Watch owners will upgrade when the next edition ships.

With millions already sold this could mean the company will see three million or more sales even before new users reach for their wallet. Not so bad for a product the first version of which already outsold the iPhone – and certainly pretty good for one that is only actually usable by an iPhone owner.

Broadening the reach

Apple Watch is gaining ground on the Swiss watch industry, according to recent Strategy Analytics figures that show Apple shifted 5.1 million of the things in contrast to 7.9 million Swiss watches sold.

That’s even before Apple broadens its market as its watch range expands into different segments. (I can imagine low cost Apple Watch devices fighting Swatch for sales in airport shops, for example).

As the functionality of the device expands to encompass payments, health and fitness, security and personal protection, mapping, TV remote control and car keys the appeal of the device will inevitably grow in direct response to its expanding versatility.

What we’ve learned

It is interesting to reflect on what apps appear to be the most widely used on the first generation device. All of them seem to be about personal identity and fast access to the most important information. So you can predict more focused apps (like Apple Pay, or home security) in future. And that was what developers needed to learn when working with Apple Watch 1...that was only the beginning.

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