WoodWing releases Apple Watch application template – first app created for German publisher Gruner + Jahr

Zaandam, The Netherlands, May 6, 2015 — The Apple Watch, launched on April 24, provides brands and media with tremendous new opportunities to offer relevant content to their audiences. WoodWing developed an application template for the Apple Watch, which can be customized to fit the needs of WoodWing´s customers. Utilizing the template, WoodWing created an Apple Watch app for the Berlin issue of the travel magazine GEO Saison, from the German publisher Gruner + Jahr. The app, which became available on the day of the Apple Watch launch, provides location-based information about shops, restaurants, points of interest and more, and includes navigation.


WoodWing developed an application template for the Apple Watch, enabling brands and publishers to quickly exploit the potential of the new channel.

The long-awaited Apple Watch became available April 24 in nine countries worldwide, and initial sales suggest that it will emerge as a global success. The new device represents the latest in the Wearables category and will become an indispensable channel for brands and media, enabling them to offer their audiences added value and to exploit new business models.

WoodWing releases Apple Watch application template providing location-based content

An Apple Watch app requires a connected iPhone running a corresponding app, through which it receives the content of the respective offer. For the development of the Apple Watch and the iPhone app, Apple provides the WatchKit. The kit controls both the display of the interface and the content, including text, images, and videos on the Apple Watch. It also controls the interaction between the iPhone app and the Watch app.

“The WatchKit is a powerful framework to develop innovative apps for the Apple Watch, providing location-based content and features,” said Dennis van Nooij, Senior Vice President Product Development at WoodWing. “However, it requires experience with the programming of apps for Apple’s mobile operating system iOS and know-how to deal with content for different devices. We have therefore invented an application template, enabling us to develop Apple Watch apps according to the individual needs of our customers, enabling them to quickly exploit the potential of the new channel.”

First Apple Watch project: Berlin edition of travel magazine GEO Saison

For one of its customers, the German publisher Gruner + Jahr, the WoodWing team created an Apple Watch app for the Berlin edition of the travel magazine GEO Saison. The app provides text and visual information about restaurants, shops and points-of-interest related to the current location of the user, and navigates the user to these locations. Through messaging, social media and e-mail, the app also enables the user to interact with other users.

“We consider the Watch as an attractive addition to our portfolio of media channels,” said Oliver von Wersch, Managing Director Gruner + Jahr Digital Products. “It enables us to reach our readers in the context of their current situation to offer them content and services which facilitate their lives. We are pleased that, also because of the proven cooperation with WoodWing, we were able to create the app in time for the launch of the Watch.”

Smartwatches as part of the multi-channel content creation process

WoodWing has always been supporting publishers and brands to exploit the latest publishing and communication technologies and channels at a very early stage. With the introduction of the iPad and the ensuing upswing of the tablet market, WoodWing supported its customers with the first-ever workflow solution for digital publishing on tablets and smartphones.

“It is one of the pillars of our philosophy that we support our customers to stay ahead of their competition,” said Roel-Jan Mouw, CEO of WoodWing Software. “This also applies to the Apple Watch and the general opportunities provided by smartwatches for publishing and communication. In the near future, we will fully integrate smartwatches in our offerings for multi-channel content creation, enabling our customers to quickly and efficiently add the new devices to their digital portfolio.”

WoodWing Digital Services helps publishers and brands to exploit the Apple Watch

The business unit WoodWing Digital Services, founded in September last year, will also expand its services with consulting for content for the Apple Watch. “Especially in the early days of a new device category and the development of relevant, device-specific content for the new platform, it is extremely important for publishers and brands to gain a comprehensive and reliable overview of the opportunities and challenges – this is where our team comes in,” said John Fong, Managing Director WoodWing Digital Services. “Our Digital Services team is the focal point of global strategic and development know-how in the field of content creation for today’s wide range of digital devices with their very specific requirements.”

Apple Watch corresponds to change in user behavior

According to a study Forrester Research conducted last year among 4,575 North American consumers, 40 percent of smartphone owners are tired of pulling their phones out of their pockets. This is a clear indication of the relevance the Apple Watch has both for the distribution of news and for location-based services. The relevance of the device is also confirmed by a recent study by Juniper Research – according to the report, the advertising spend on smartwatches will reach almost $70 million by 2019.