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Wearable Tech

Apple announces new app partnerships for the Apple Watch

Apps for the Apple Watch are in the works from the likes of Salesforce.com, American Airlines, Shazam and Uber ahead of the wearable's April arrival.

Apple's got a lot of apps it's planning for launch of Apple Watch. Apple

Apple says the time for watch apps has begun.

During an event in San Francisco Monday, the world's largest tech company showed a variety of apps from companies including Uber, Salesforce.com and American Airlines, designed for its new smartwatch, which will go on sale in April.

One app on display, from Shazam, allows customers to use the smartwatch's services to find out what music is playing nearby.

"We're super excited to see what developers are going to do with this new platform," said Kevin Lynch, one of the heads of software on the Apple Watch.

Apps are considered a critical component to the Apple Watch's success. Companies have been slow to jump on the bandwagon with other smartwatches, opting to build only a few basic programs.

A thriving app store, however, has been the driving force behind the smartphone and tablet industries. App developers have built millions of apps for these devices, creating a thriving market that has not only built up companies like the Instagram photo-sharing service and Uber ride-sharing service, but also changed the way many existing companies do business.

Apple has said it has similar hopes for its watch. We already know some apps that it will include. Ones made by Apple include the activity and fitness tracking apps, plus those for maps and weather.

The company has also built apps alongside other companies, such as Starwood Hotels, which is creating a program to unlock your hotel room with your watch, an American Airlines app to check you in for and track your flights, and a Lutron app to turn your lights off with a tap on your wrist. There also are apps from social-networking services like Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram; fitness tracking like Nike+; and entertainment and sports apps like ESPN and MLB.com At Bat.

Apple has also built technology into the watch to support its Passbook service, allowing items such as airline tickets or loyalty cards to be shown on the device.