Groupon iOS App version 3.12 went live this week and our mobile team packed it full of whiz bang features. Most notably, the new Groupon Apple Watch app was included and it has generated a bit of buzz. Partial though I might be, I am proud to say it’s my favorite app on Apple Watch today. But, don’t take my word for it. Check out the video we made to show it off.
One of the most challenging aspects of working on this app was that the team started prototyping it back in January, long before the Apple Watch was available to the public. You can imagine that the use cases for a watch app are vastly different than those for a mobile app and developing this with only the use of simulators (which have their own set of limitations) took much hard work and ingenuity.
The team figured out some cool features just by being bold and trying things. For example, without much Apple documentation, they determined how to access a users location on the watch when the phone is in background mode. Our team decided to wait to release until the Apple Watch was out and they were able to do some final fit and finish work. This resulted in being able to separate ourselves out from the pack in terms of having an elegant and functional working app from the get go.
We are just getting started, though. The team has a few main areas they want to focus on for future iterations. They are supporting the next version of Watch OS, nailing proximity location and redemption and further refining the purchasing process. As I said in our recent press release: “We’re very excited about the potential of this new technology to increase the buying power of our customers and drive even more business to local merchants.”
Kudos to our hard working and talented mobile team and the larger Groupon tech community that made this all happen! I am proud to be part of this organization!