Hulu has come up with exactly the right kind of Apple Watch app, one that turns the wrist-based computer into a simple remote control.
The new app doesn’t try to do too much. You can’t browse the Hulu catalog from the watch, but the assumption is that you’ll want to use a proper remote for that anyway. Once you have a video stream up and running, the Watch app lets you pause the current video stream, rewind in 10-second increments, and toggle closed captioning.
For now, the app supports Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Chromecast, and AirPlay streaming to Apple TV. A prompt to select the playback device appears at launch and can be changed at any time through the app’s settings menu.
In a blog post, Hulu points out that the app was created by one of its interns, Rahin Jegarajaratnam, under mentorship from the iOS development team. Apparently having interns work on consumer-facing projects is a regular occurance.
But Hulu says this isn’t a one-off effort. The company is promising “more updates and feature additions” and sees the app as “the perfect opportunity to explore the Apple Watch OS and experiment with ways to integrate the Hulu experience into the popularity of wearable platforms.”
Why this matters: Instead of trying to fulfill any real need, too many early Apple Watch apps seem to exist out of obligation, as companies try to stake out turf on a new platform. By comparison, the appeal of Hulu’s app is easy to understand: It’s a basic set of clutter-free playback controls for when the real remote is out of reach. Other streaming-video providers such as Netflix and HBO should take note.