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An Apple Watch App for Observant Jews

Hi-tech fix will alert users to prayer times and locate kosher food

Tal Trachtman Alroy
March 10, 2015
(Rusty Brick)
(Rusty Brick)

Apple gave tech fans a closer look at the Apple Watch yesterday. The company said the device, which will be available in April 2015, can receive phone calls, track fitness data, pull up emails and send messages. The price will start at $350 and could go into the thousands of dollars depending on which finishing touches customers choose to add. RustyBrick, a company that specializes in hi-tech fixes for observant Jews, is already at work on solutions to customize the Apple Watch for the Jewish community.

The company is still testing the hardware before releasing its new interfaces and design, but they’ve announced that their Apple Watch app will consist of three main components. The first will be Zmanim (Jewish times) and will help alert observant Jews to Shabbat and prayer times. The second part, Brachot (Jewish blessings), will enable users to look at their watch to find the most relevant blessings to use after meals or even after using the restroom. The third element of the app will help users find kosher places to eat nearby and will offer directions to the restaurant and allow them to place orders.

“We feel this has a lot of potential to help improve the quality of life, living as an observant Jew,” CEO Barry Schwartz said.

RustyBrick is behind smartphone apps like the iPhone Siddur and the Shabbat app, which shares candle-lighting times with users as well as the Jewish Google Glass app, JewGlass. In 2011, Schwartz, who co-founded the company with his brother, Ronnie, told Tablet, “Anything we find useful that we want in our phone, we’ll develop.”

Tal Trachtman Alroy is an intern at Tablet.