Online retail giant Amazon is working on an Apple Watch version of its mobile shopping app for wearable devices, according to TechCrunch.
Officially, Amazon is saying next to nothing about its Apple Watch plans. “Amazon is constantly innovating on behalf of our customers. We are committed to being anywhere customers want to shop. That includes watches. We have an Amazon shopping app for Android Wear and will look to expand to other devices,” an Amazon spokesperson said, emphasizing that’s the only statement the company is making, at least for now.
That makes it reasonable to assume there will be an Apple Watch version of the Android Wear app, and one that includes all that app’s existing shopping features. Those include the ability to search for products by voice, save products to a customer’s Amazon Wish List, and check out quickly using Amazon’s 1-Click ordering system directly from the customer’s wrist.
But it’s also likely that an Apple Watch Amazon app won’t simply be a clone of its Android version. Apple has a long history of strict user-interface guidelines, and that’s likely to be a major factor in how Amazon and other online retailers will have to retool existing apps, even if they would already fit on the Watch’s screen — especially since a large Apple team will vet every Watch app to make sure it conforms to Apple’s design guidelines, Bloomberg News reported shortly before this week’s “Spring Forward” media event.
Those guidelines are likely to pose significant problems for Amazon if Apple isn’t willing to relax them for e-commerce shopping. For example, they include a recommendation that developers design their apps to be used for no more than 10 seconds at a time — an approach that would make anything resembling traditional shopping impossible.
Design issues aside, there doesn’t seem to be any special friction between Amazon and Apple, including on questions of whether Amazon will use Apple Pay. That was the source of rumors in October, when users of the JPMorgan Chase-issued Amazon Rewards Visa Card discovered they couldn’t register their cards for use with Apple Pay — and neither Chase nor Amazon would explain why. Less than a week later, the Amazon cards were getting along with Apple Pay just fine.