The Impact of Wearables on the Mobile Industry

Wearable technology can’t be dismissed as a fad anymore. Its steady rise in popularity proves these devices are here to stay. Thus, they’ve naturally had an impact on Android and iOS mobile app development.


The significance of wearable technology’s influence will only grow as prices drop and more consumers embrace these products. Approximately 141 million smartwatches have already been sold this year alone. It’s highly likely that number will be even higher next year.

Popular Wearables

The most popular wearable devices currently belong to three basic groups. They include:

  • Smartwatches: Products such as the Apple Watch essentially introduced many consumers to the idea of wearables. These devices are unlike traditional ones in that they are capable of doing more than simply displaying the time. A smartwatch can typically send email alerts, help users navigate unfamiliar areas, facilitate calls, and more.
  • Fitness Trackers: Wrist-worn fitness trackers may look somewhat like smartwatches. However, they’re designed specifically for the purpose of collecting fitness-related data. Devices such as the Fitbit monitor factors like heart rate, daily steps, and much more, helping users make healthier life choices.
  • Miscellaneous: Smartwatches and fitness trackers are the two most popular
    forms of wearable technology. Other emerging devices include VR/AR headsets and haptic gloves. Currently, these devices are too expensive or difficult-to-use for the average consumer. They’ll attract a greater customer base as the technology improves.
Wearable Tech’s Impact on the Mobile Market

The number of apps available for the Apple Watch is rising steadily. Both consumers and developers are clearly finding more and more valuable ways to use these devices. They’ve dramatically changed how the average person engages with mobile technology as a result.

They’ve also impacted the way developers build products. For instance, many smartwatch apps are also available in smartphone or tablet versions. Developers must account for the gap in technical capabilities between devices when designing the wearable-friendly versions of these apps. They want to provide a similar user experience across all devices while ensuring the app performs reliably.

Additionally, they must design for different interfaces. An app designed to appear clearly on a smartphone screen won’t have the same effect on a watch.

Luckily, forward-thinking developers primarily see the rise of wearables as an opportunity. New innovations expand the capabilities of these devices. Mobile app creators have taken notice. For example, sophisticated motion sensor tech in smartwatches could be leveraged when making an app that alerts drivers who appear to be falling asleep at the wheel.

This is just one of many potential apps that could be available in the near future thanks to wearables. Again, trends indicate these devices are only going to grow more popular. Everyone involved in the mobile industry should take notice.