Last week, Apple launched its highly anticipated Apple Watch, sending early adopters racing to the new Apple Watch App Store on their iPhone to download new apps. While this App Store app has already been a cause of annoyance for users with no interest in Apple Watch, as it can’t be deleted from one’s device, the store is also concerning for developers hoping to be discovered by this surge of new users.
When viewing the store, users are shown apps in a variety of categories, but the pickings seem rather slim; a far cry from the 3,000 apps Apple says are already available for the device.
A search menu allows users to find exactly what they’re looking for, but what about someone casually browsing the store to find new experiences?
Right now, the store is segmented into featured lists, with one developer telling SocialTimes this can be confusing for users, who aren’t aware there are apps outside of these lists to download. The Games category, for instance, lists 20 games available for download under a “Quick-Fix Games” heading, and only nine under the “Game Companions” list. Other categories show even less. The “Get Started” list under the Utilities category, for instance, features just nine apps.
Compare this to the standard App Store experience, which includes an Explore tab for browsing more apps, from more genres and categories, in more than just featured or highlighted lists. As one developer puts it, app discovery is already challenging for developers, and this current Apple Watch App Store layout isn’t helping.
SocialTimes has reached out to Apple, but the company has not yet responded.
That being said, it’s likely the App Store’s design will be updated going forward, and in fact the current Games category seems to support this eventuality, with an arrow next to the category name, seemingly indicating users will one day be able to tap on Games, and then a genre to find the specific games they’re looking for.
For right now though, the majority of apps are hidden from the average consumer’s eyes, unless they happen to search for the right topics (granted, with the number of apps available on the regular App Store, this isn’t a new phenomenon). However, downloads tend to spike after the launch of new devices (see the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus launch last fall), so developers need to work quickly with their own advertising and marketing campaigns to avoid missing out on the rush.
Readers: Do you think Apple is adequately showing all apps available for the Apple Watch?