March 31, 2015 Last Updated 1:37 pm

Apple App Store team allowing early updates for Apple Watch

TripAdvisor the latest to update iOS app to list the new features added specifically for the Apple Watch, in attempt to answer the question ‘what can I do with it?’

When Apple launched the iPad back in April of 2010, a big question on everyone’s mind was “what can I do with this thing?” Steve Jobs had included a demonstration of The New York Times’s iPad app in his unveiling of the iPad, and Time Inc.’s Sports Illustrated had worked with The Wonderfactory to produce a video of its idea of what a tablet edition might look like, but how many other apps would be released by the time the first iPads arrived via UPS?

It was certainly a different time. Two weeks before the launch of the iPad, Random House announced that it would not be entering the soon to be launched iBooks Store, saying that the company “was treading carefully” when it came to cooperating with Apple on its own digital bookstore.

TripAdv-iconOn the Friday before the first iPads were available, TNM proclaimed the beginning of “Tablet Publishing” for magazines as the first apps appeared in the newly launched iPad App Store – they were apps for GQ and Popular Science.

But the Apple Watch is a different beast: it is almost completely reliant on the owner also having an iPhone. Apps for the watch are, then, iPhone apps – and Apple is not holding developers back from updating their apps well in advance of the Apple Watch being available. Each update is, itself, a promotion for the Apple Watch.

The latest to update their iOS app to add Apple Watch support is TripAdvisor which broke out its app description for version 9.8 into two parts:

New for Apple Watch

  • Suggests places to eat or attractions to visit based on your current location and time of day.
  • Save a place directly on the Apple Watch, which is synced to your TripAdvisor profile and is made available on TripAdvisor.com and TripAdvisor apps for iPhone and iPad.
  • Supports Apple Maps for directions to places.
  • Supports Force Touch on list view so that you can change search range and sort options.

New for iPhone

  • Read overviews from Wikipedia integrated right into our attraction listings.
  • Search for hotels near a landmark.
  • New Things to Do experience with improved filters and navigation.
  • Quickly pick between photos of the hotel rooms, bathroom, or the pool area in our new hotel photo albums.

The idea is simple: many potential buyers of the Apple Watch, and many in the media, area asking the same question they did about the iPad: what can I do with this thing?

While the updates seen so far have been from major companies, invited to participate, Apple has now opened up the App Store to updated and new apps involving the Apple Watch now that we are less than four week away from launch – creating a new web page for developers: Preparing Your App Submission for Apple Watch.

Updated apps, like that for The New York Times (which is being coy about its Apple Watch features) and the major airlines, are free advertisements for the Apple Watch. My hope is that Apple is returning the favor by testing out these new app updates – after all, we are still three and a half weeks away from the launch of the Apple Watch on the 24th, so who is there to test out these new features?

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