logo Genève Aéroport Genève Aéroport Published on the 7th July 2021

GVApp Europe's first airport app on Apple Watch

Discover Geneva Airport's Apple Watch app, a new way to travel with the first airport app in Europe. We share with you the story of this unique project that allowed us to develop an app for the Apple Watch even before the launch of this product by Apple!

GVApp Europe's first airport app on Apple Watch

We have been working alongside the Geneva Airport marketing teams for several years. As an international airport, Geneva Airport welcomes more than 18 million passengers from all over the world each year, but mainly leisure travelers from Europe. Geneva Airport is notably the European HUB for the Easyjet airline.

Back to the past

Back in January 2015, it's 6:57 am, the Airbus A320 bound for London takes off from runway 22 of Geneva International Airport. On board, vacationers, commuters and two members of our team, invited by Apple in their London HQ. The goal of the day was to get a sneak preview of the most coveted object of all: the Apple Watch. We were able to work directly with Apple's software developers in order to optimize our GVApp app for this new connected object, a few months before its release.

Design an interface for a non-existent object

For this project, it was impossible for us to use a personal experience, a story, an experience, nothing, everything had to be invented. What relevant information can we display on this small screen? How to make an intelligent link between the existing mobile app and the watch so that it is not just a copy? We wanted the experience of the watch to bring real added value to the use of this new pairing in the airport.

Adhesive paper, our best friend

How to simulate and validate our choices and ideas when no one, except a small team in Cupertino, could see the watch in real life. You have to imagine, members of our team, with iPhones stuck on each arm with adhesive paper, walking around imagining real situations in order to test the relevance of our choices. Our daily routine was to pull out the hair of our arms (and hair too, for that matter?) in order to produce an app that was truly innovative, both in terms of its visual aspect and the new features it integrated.

Apple Watch
Using apple watch

Geneva-London - London-Geneva in 12 hours

Once our app was "finished", we went to Apple, in London, to enjoy a whole day with the teams who developed watchOS, to validate our choices by testing, finally, our product on a real watch. Locked personal cell phones with identification numbers, deactivated camera, Apple's cult of secrecy is well established. We are now immersed for the next few hours in a room where all the windows are covered with paper, so that no one, except us, can see what is going on. After a full day of discussion and work with Apple and watchOS UX experts, we are ready to release the app.

When we embarked on this adventure, we were faced with a major challenge: designing an interface for an object that we had never seen before and for which we had no known usage habits.

Yannick CEO, Atipik SA

June 26, 2015: release of the Apple Watch and GVApp!

Apple is marketing the Apple Watch in Europe, we are proud to be the first Swiss company to offer an app available on the connected watch and touched that Apple cites our work as an example in its global press release on June 4.

Press release

According to users, the app is relevant, pretty, but above all very, very practical. No need to take out the phone to check the status of your flight or to find out about status changes, everything is directly available on your wrist. During the year 2015, the app will benefit from significant media coverage and will win two awards, the Best of the Web in the Mobile and Innovation category and the Best Of Swiss App.

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Try the Geneva Airport app for yourself and discover the different features on mobile or Apple Watch!