The Apple Watch is here, and there's already an app designed for Coloradans

by Anthony Sodd
April 24, 2015

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Today is the launch of the Apple Watch, at least for the rich and those who had the sense to preorder. Sure, the watch is not expected to be available in Apple stores today, but it does appear that preorders are mostly arriving on time. If you didn't preorder, the New York Times is reporting there are hundreds of watches for sale in designer stores in London and Tokyo -- so good luck with that.

It turns out some developers at Foraker, a web and mobile development consultancy based in Boulder, have already released an Apple Watch app designed for Coloradans lucky enough to get their watch today. The only snag: the designers themselves haven’t actually gotten their hands on an Apple Watch yet.

“I’m really curious to get my hands on the hardware and see what comes next,” Hunter Hillegas, product maker and senior mobile developer at Foraker said.

Hillegas and his team are behind the I-70 Traffic App, first made for the iPhone, then the iPad and now the iWatch. The app, if you’re unfamiliar, was designed to help skiers stay informed about I-70’s notorious ski traffic. Basically, the app holds your hand as you drive into the mountains, telling you when you should expect to arrive, or more realistically, when you're going to hit traffic.

“The watch is really good at getting small pieces of information quickly,” Hillegas said.  “And when we're talking about traffic, the age old question is: ‘when are we going to get there?”

Apparently the process of making the watch version of the app was a bit like shooting in the dark.

“Without the benefit of a real, live Apple Watch on which to experiment, we had to do research online,” Hillegas said in a blog. “I must have watched the introduction video dozens of times, trying to get a sense for how Apple has implemented their built-in apps.”

If you’re interested in the details of what goes into making an Apple app ahead of the launch of the product it works on, Hillegas has a good blog post here. And, if you're lucky enough to get your hands on the Apple Watch sometime before the snow melts, check out the I-70 Traffic App.

If, like the rest of us, you're stuck hoping your Casio magically transforms into something cool, check out this spoof advertisment of Christopher Walken on an Apple Watch. (Be forewarned: it does have some questionable language).

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