The Week in Mobile: March 8-14, 2015


Apple Watch news, March Madness and a new bracket app have arrived, mobile-first stock market app brings free trading to all and more

Each week we round up the top news stories, think pieces and other content that centers on the fast-paced, quickly changing world of mobile technology. We tell you which companies are employing clever mobile strategies, illuminate new ways of thinking about mobile and offer a peek at meaningful trends in the industry. This content is designed to inspire you and your company to take advantage of the many benefits mobile can offer.

Roundup: Apple Watch News

The much anticipated and long awaited Apple Watch has made its (second) debut, inevitably dominating tech news this week. Apple’s newest product has sparked numerous conversations about watch apps, the future of wearable devices and more. Here’s a roundup of Apple Watch news in case you missed it:

  • Apple Watch Breaks Tradition – The Apple Watch does something that no Apple product before it has dared to do—it asks users to add a product without eliminating anything else. In the past, Apple products have made life easier by eliminating the need for other things. Take, for example, the iPod, which rendered CDs and LPs obsolete, or the iPhone, which combines calendar, alarm clock, music player, camera and lots more (yes, even the wristwatch) into one handheld device. The Apple Watch breaks this tradition, which means its success depends on its ability to benefit users so much that it warrants more devices, not fewer.
  • Apple Watch Apps Target Business – The launch of Apple Watch comes hand-in-hand with the release of several apps aimed at business users including Citi Mobile, Expedia and Designed for “10-second interactions” that transition seamlessly into more extensive smartphone or desktop tasks, these wearable-ready business apps are positioned as tools for increasing efficiency, speeding communication and accessing data quickly.
  • Six Key Features that Could Mean Success for the Apple Watch – Apple Watch offers capabilities more advanced than those found on notification-centric smartwatches already available to consumers. Six key features set Apple’s newest product apart from competitors: Apple Pay, digital touch, scrolling crown capabilities, longer battery life, the ability to make phone calls and a set of high-quality apps.
  • How Will Apple Watch Affect Behavior – It’s likely that Apple Watch’s launch will reinvigorate the development of other wearable devices from companies like Samsung, Sony and Pebble. If that’s the case, how will proliferating wearables change the way users interact with devices and the world around them? How will the Apple Watch’s “taptic” engine train users to respond to small vibrations that vary based on the notification and how will detailed navigation changed the way we shop? Of course, it’s too soon to tell, but as wearables proliferate and their abilities expand, it’s likely that users needs and expectations will also shift.

In Other Apple News: Next Gen iPhones to Feature Force Touch Pressure-Sensitive Input

Apple’s Force Touch tech, a feature in the new 12-inch MacBook and Apple Watch that allows for a deeper press to act as a secondary input, will be incorporated into the the next iPhone design. The new feature could mean big things for app developers, as it allows for new control capabilities. Apps will be able to incorporate more sophisticated input responses, and pressure distinction could open up options for creative apps with drawing and painting capabilities.

Former Apple App Store Manager Launches March Madness App

Former Apple App Store Manager and Marketer at Gameloft and Nintendo Michael Ehrenberg is taking a stab at his own mobile app, Bracket the Madness, which allows users to set up bracket tournament pools for free. Applying what he’s learned from his time with Apple, Ehrenberg has developed a simple, mobile-conscious app that allows users to create a pool with a few swipes and invite friends via Facebook, email or text message quickly and easily. Bracket the Madness is the latest take on NCAA March Madness social apps, which are a part of the growing $22 billion mobile gaming industry. What sets Bracket the Madness apart from its many competitors is a focus on simplicity and unique free-to-play strategy. The app is free to download, but users can purchase bracket shields and sneak peeks throughout the season. The tournament starts Tuesday!

Mobile-First Stock Market App Brings Free Trading to Everyone

Robinhood, a zero-commission brokerage iOS app unlike any other mobile stock market tool, is now open to the general public. What makes the app so unique? It’s mobile first, which means Robinhood isn’t bound by trader fees or other costs associated with the traditional brokerage infrastructure. Robinhood doesn’t charge a commission for standard trades or require minimum deposits, making investing more affordable and easy to navigate. Users can buy and sell U.S. stocks and ETFs, place market and limit orders, track data and customize watchlists with the free app. It makes us wonder if this is this the first step in another industry disruption…