Apple announced two major product releases last Tuesday: a much-anticipated smartwatch and larger-screened iPhones.
The iPhone 6 features a 4.7-inch screen—larger than the 4-inch screen found on the iPhone 5s and just smaller than the 5.1-inch screen of the Samsung Galaxy S5, one of the iPhone’s biggest competitors.
Apple users who want an even larger screen can opt for the iPhone 6 Plus, which boasts a 5.5-inch screen and competes with devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Note.
The smartwatch, dubbed the Apple Watch, is the company’s first foray into the “wearables” market. It is the first new product line that has been introduced since the death of Apple founder Steve Jobs.
“It is the next chapter in Apple’s story,” Apple CEO Tim Cook told the crowds at Flint Center for the Performing Arts—the very spot where, in 1984, the company introduced the Macintosh computer.
The watch is essentially a computer strapped to its user’s wrist. It will be able to run various applications, including the health and fitness apps Apple has made much of in recent weeks.
These apps will be able to be processed on the user’s iPhone, but displayed on the watch’s touchscreen, to extend battery life. It will also run Siri, Apple’s voice-activated personal digital assistant.
The Apple Watch is expected to become available in early 2015 and will retail for $349.
But the Apple Watch is not alone in the wearables market, as Samsung, Pebble and Sony have already released devices that are growing in popularity.
As mobile devices grow in sophistication and popularity, the importance of web application development is growing as well.
Some web apps make existing Internet experiences more mobile-friendly, while some are for mobile devices only.
Recent research shows that 48 percent of users accessing the Internet through mobile devices become frustrated when attempting to access sites that have not been optimized for mobile. Many popular services accessed via a traditional browser on a desktop computer, such as Facebook, have an accompanying app for mobile users.
Globally, over a billion people now use mobile devices, either smartphones or tablets, to access the Internet, and those numbers will likely grow as the wearables market expands. Mobile web adoption is also growing rapidly—at a rate 8 times greater than in the 1990s and early 2000s.
“Any user of an Android watch can agree that the super-small screen size makes such a device mostly a toy,” says Andreas Huttenrauch, Chief Digital Strategist at Globi Web Solutions. “There’s not much you’d want to do with a smart watch, and Apple’s price tag of $349 is pretty steep for a toy. Funny thing is though that the available media of the new watch shows that it really looks like a toy – the kind of watch a 5-year old would like.”