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Google Maps, Amazon, and eBay Pull Apple Watch Apps From App Store

Nice find by Neil Hughes at AppleInsider:

In the last few weeks, the latest update for Google Maps on iOS ditched support for the Apple Watch. Its removal was not mentioned in the release notes, and Google has not indicated whether support for watchOS will be reinstated.

It’s the same story with Amazon and eBay, both of which previously included Apple Watch support in their iOS apps. Both were updated in late April, and as of Monday, neither includes an Apple Watch app.

The striking thing is that no one noticed until today. It’s pretty clear that despite the significant improvements in WatchOS 3, Apple Watch is not a successful app platform. It’s a successful fitness tracker and notification platform, but not for apps. Also, it’s one thing for a developer not to have supported Apple Watch in the first place, but it’s something else when a developer has gone to the effort to create an Apple Watch app and now removes it.

There are an awful lot of apps where a Watch app doesn’t make sense. Amazon for one. No one is going to shop on their watch. But Google Maps is an app where a Watch app makes sense, for turn-by-turn directions.

It’s just too slow and finicky to even get apps installed on Apple Watch in the first place. And the thing most apps are useful for on the watch — notifications — you don’t even need a WatchOS app for. You can just have the notifications from your iPhone show up on your watch.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017