Apps to Watch: Hooks – Alerts for Everything

Hooks on Apple Watch Closeup

The Apple Watch might not be for everyone, and it’s still a somewhat unproven gadget in terms of mass appeal and usefulness, but it’s certainly true that it has encouraged more app developers to dip their toe in the water and create apps for it.

While it’s still early days, and the Apple Watch has its fair share of niggled and glitches regarding usability, watch apps are set to become more powerful, performant, and integrated with some of the activities we do on a daily basis.

With Watch OS 2, unveiled at WWDC in June this year, Apple has already started to address some of the shortcomings and the next wave of apps look set to be more useful than ever before. In this regular series, we’ll pick one app of interest and talk about watch apps in general.

Hooks – notifications for everything

The tagline of Hooks seems to play to one of the strengths of the Apple Watch (I’m still not quite sure if i should be calling it the Apple Watch, or just Apple Watch!):-

“Hooks Wants To Send You A Notification For Anything That’s Important To You”.

Hooks iPhone - AlertNotifications are without doubt one of the best things about the Apple Watch. By default, it mirrors everything on your phone, but it is of course possible to customise just about every facet of notifications. One app developer, Oleg Kozynenko, is seeking to build on the watch’s basic notifications and make them even more useful.

The app itself, Hooks, lets you create a wide range of notifications for sport, TV, stocks, weather, and hundreds more. It’s caused a bit of a stir among tech circles and was recently feature on Tech Crunch, Lifehacker and iMore.

Hooks on Apple WatchSo what exactly is hooks? It’s a free iPhone (and Android) app that works with Apple Watch to create alerts for dozens of different categories, and claims there are more than a million pre-built alerts to choose from.

For example, you might set an alert to notify you when your favourite TV programme is about to start, or when a currency you’re interested in fluctuates beyond a certain limit.

Aside from notifications, which are the key focus of the app, you can also favourite and Tweet them right from within the notification centre (on the iPhone version).

Hooks Alert Categories
Just a selection of the types of alerts you can set in Hooks.

I particularly like the previous example of “TV show new episode alert” – when the next episode of Game of Thrones is aired, the notification appears right away on the phone and watch. And there are plenty more to choose from.

Hooks iPhoneHow about the ability to create a temperature drop alert in London or a bill payment reminder. I’ve been using the app a couple of days now, and have found it immensely useful, and certainly fun.

There’s a lot to like about it like the simple but intuitive interface – as we Brits say, it does exactly what it says on the tin.

If you’re looking for more creative, intelligent and simply useful Apple Watch alerts, download Hooks and give it a go. Let us know in the comments what you think…

You can find the iOS version of Hooks in the App Store here or for Android on Google Play. There is also a short video on Vimeo.

We will be running a regular series of Apple Watch app articles over the coming months. If you have a particular app that you’d like us to review or focus on, let us know your favourites and we’ll do our best to include them in future articles.

Mobile Industry Review would like to thank Oleg Kozynenko, Co-Founder of Hooks.

By Roland Banks

Roland Banks has been passionate about mobile technology for the past 20 years. He started his career at British Telecom's research division working on collaborative virtual reality environments, before becoming a video streaming specialist at 3 UK where he helped launch some of the world's first mobile video services. More recently he enjoys writing about his obsession, and developing software that helps mobile operators analyse their subscriber data.

Roland has lived in Asia for the past 5 years, and tries to indulge his other passion for riding motorcycles whenever possible.

2 replies on “Apps to Watch: Hooks – Alerts for Everything”

Is this app really an “Apple Watch” app though? It generates notifications that the OS sends to the watch. I take it the Android version does exactly the same, except that the notifications pop up on a Android Wear watch instead of an Apple one. If so, then you could just as equally call it an Android Wear app, but I doubt anyone does.

Everything fun is always positioned primarily as an ‘Apple’ thing, even if it isn’t made by them. Note how the writer slips the ‘and Android’ into brackets, almost as if the apps ability to work just as well on that platform should be regarded as an afterthought…

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