Study: Companion apps hindering wearable device growth

Apple Watch and appA new study by Argus Insights has found that consumers may love their wearable devices but they are not so enthused by the companion apps they come with. An analysis of some 136,000 consumer reviews of wearables devices and applications found that there is a gap in consumer satisfaction between the hardware and the apps. Furthermore, this gap could hinder future wearable device growth.

“Clearly the app experience is affecting the long term efficacy of the wearables market,” said John Feland, CEO, Argus Insights. “Without interpretation of the data to inspire action and promote change, devices become dispensable and land in the sock drawer.”

Nike and Jawbone earned the highest “delight scores” for their apps. Jawbone in particular earned praise for its “all in one app” but its hardware was the lowest rated. Fitbit, the current market leader in wearables, and Samsung fell in the middle with Microsoft and Garmin earning the lowest scores. While consumers are most pleased about the information collected and presented by the aps (like fitness and calorie tracking, heart rate monitoring), they are not so thrilled with issues encountered using those apps. The top complaints included data syncing, crashing apps and less than intuitive installation and setup.

Argus Insighs Wearables satisfaction index

The study suggests that wearable manufacturers need to focus more on the software side to ensure that the positive experience offered by their hardware extends to the apps used to the supporting software. This could in turn trigger improved rates of wearable device growth.

It would also be interesting to see how smartwatches such as the Apple Watch and Withings Acitivité fare against the competition.

Analysis for this study was conducted between November 2015 and February 2016.

Source : Argus Insights