Talking Todoist, Apple Watch with developer Enric Enrich

The folks behind Todoist are bringing their app to the small screen, and that's a big task. 

What we know about the Apple Watch is nothing compared to what's unknown. We know it'll come in two sizes, 38mm and 42mm, across three lines: Watch, Watch Sport and Watch Edition. The entry model will cost $349. It's got several customizable faces, features sweet apps for health, fitness, communication and keeping time. It does that weird heartbeat thing. There's more, of course, but the list of what we don't know is even longer:

  • What will battery life be like?
  • What will cost be across models?
  • How will Apple Pay work without fingerprint ID?
  • What features will work if a paired iPhone is unavailable?
  • What is the internal storage like?

The biggie for me is, what will third-party apps be like? When the iPhone debuted, many people considered, what will be its "killer app"?  Meaning, what's the one app or the one function that will have people tripping over themselves to buy one? Surely there had to be such a thing. Turns out there is, but it's not a single app. 

It's the App Store itself. It's the life that talented developers breathe into it. The iPhone's killer feature, if you will, is potential fulfilled. Imagination realized. It's "Eureka!" moments between developers, engineers, artists and customers. 

The same will be true of Apple Watch. 

But what will that look like on such a tiny screen? The original Phone's 3.5-inch display seems gargantuan next to that of its younger sibling. Like many of you, I'm very eager to see what app developers do with the Apple Watch.

We got a brief glimpse of that future earlier this month when the developers at Todoist shared a brief video with TechCrunch (above). I'm an avid fan of Todoist, the project management app for iPhone, iPad, the web and more (free with paid premium option). The video shows several aspects of the app, such as project review, task completion and more. It's compelling, and I sat down with Todoist iOS developer Enric Enrich to talk about his work on Todoist for Apple Watch, the challenges he faced and what we can expect. 

AWT: Tell me about Todoist for Apple Watch.

Enric: We knew that we had to focus on displaying the most relevant information...just what the customer wants to see when they're working on their to-do lists. So, we focused on the inbox, todos, labels and filters. 

AWT: What is it like developing for such a small screen? 

Enric: We considered how many lines of information we wanted to show. Some task descriptions can take up many lines. In the end, we settled on two lines. The customer can tap to see more. But even now we only have access to the [Apple Watch] simulator, so we're very anxious to try it on the real thing. 

AWT: And what do you think that will be like? 

Enric: It will be very convenient for one thing. You'll be able to check your list while keeping both hands free. If  you're in the market and you see that you need milk, you just pick up the milk. No need to grab your phone and move it in and out of your pocket. 

AWT: It's funny, but I didn't even think of that until you said it right now. 

Enric: it's going to be great. 

AWT: Anything else you'd like our readers to know?

Enric: It will be available on Apple Watch release day.

Constraints foster creativity and moving a popular iOS app to the Watch offers plenty of opportunity to be creative. I believe we'll see developers tightly focus on displaying crucial information in the most efficient, convenient way possible, just as Enric has. It's an exciting time, and I can't wait for my first "Eureka!" moment with the Apple Watch.