Major apps abandoning Apple Watch, including Google Maps, Amazon & eBay [u]

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited May 2017
In recent months, major companies that offered dedicated Apple Watch apps have since abandoned the platform, quietly removing support for watchOS in updates submitted to the App Store.




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.




While shopping on Amazon from your wrist may seem somewhat superfluous, the eBay app for Apple Watch did allow users to track bid statuses. And obviously the utility of glanceable directions from Google Maps -- a service many believe is better than Apple Maps -- on the watch is apparent.

There are other, scattered examples of Apple Watch apps being removed from iOS updates, including retailer Target (which does still offer watchOS integration with its Cartwheel app).




The fact that these high-profile removals have gone largely unnoticed could be a sign that the apps simply were not widely used. In contrast, removing iPad support from an iOS app, for example, would likely be noticed immediately and generate headlines.

AppleInsider contacted Google, Amazon and eBay to find out why watchOS support was removed from their iOS apps, and whether Apple Watch functionality will be reintroduced. We'll update with official statements if they are provided.

Update: Google later commented on its decision, saying, "We removed Apple Watch support from our latest iOS release but expect to support it again in the future."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 59
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,253member
    Google can't make their ad revenue targets on a Watch.
    jeffharrisRacerhomieXtmaypscooter63wlymB3BADASSjbdragonmdriftmeyerjony0jahblade
  • Reply 2 of 59
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,062member
    Not every fucking app benefits from being on a watch. I'm seeing more and more Apple Watches out in the wild, so even though this headline is trying to imply that the product and platform is dying, I very much doubt thats the case. Firstly, the implementation and utility of some of these apps are shit, so the fact that they're barely getting any use wouldn't be surprising. Secondly, there's a good chance many of these apps will be pulled then relaunched with a re-imagined concept.
    SubrandomcalijeffharrisRacerhomieXtmaypscooter63equality72521B3BADASSqwwerachabig
  • Reply 3 of 59
    nhughesnhughes Posts: 749editor
    slurpy said:
    Not every fucking app benefits from being on a watch. I'm seeing more and more Apple Watches out in the wild, so even though this headline is trying to imply that the product and platform is dying, I very much doubt thats the case. Firstly, the implementation and utility of some of these apps are shit, so the fact that they're barely getting any use wouldn't be surprising. Secondly, there's a good chance many of these apps will be pulled then relaunched with a re-imagined concept.
    Definitely was not trying to imply that the platform is dying. Just reporting on a trend.
    proto732wlymSoliObjectiveTechFanking editor the graterandominternetpersonNameo_anton zuykovwatto_cobranetmage
  • Reply 4 of 59
    williamhwilliamh Posts: 619member
    I thought the Ebay app was useful.  I'll miss it.
    RacerhomieXemoellerjbdragonirelandjahblade[Deleted User]watto_cobranetmage
  • Reply 5 of 59
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,128member
    Google Maps - Garbage 
    eBay - Garbage 
    Amazon - Garbage 

    Improvement by subtraction 
    caliRacerhomieXtmayStrangeDaysfotoformatchabigmdriftmeyerNameo_jony0iqatedo
  • Reply 6 of 59
    The_3MThe_3M Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    Ebay notifications still work. All that matters when bidding 
    jony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 59
    RacerhomieXRacerhomieX Posts: 95unconfirmed, member
    Google Maps - Garbage 
    eBay - Garbage 
    Amazon - Garbage 

    Improvement by subtraction 
    Tell that to Windows Mobile. Lol
    hmurchisonB3BADASSjony0anton zuykov[Deleted User]watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 59
    SubrandomSubrandom Posts: 9member
    slurpy said:
    Not every fucking app benefits from being on a watch.
    When I first bought my watch, I tried a whole truckload of the apps that offered watch support. Turns out, most of them were simply unnecessary for my needs. There's a few things I wanted my watch to do, but many more that I did not - like being able to buy things from Amazon by tapping furiously at my wrist. At this point, I don't have any third-party apps on my watch at all. For my needs at least, having notifications forwarded from my phone is the right amount of "app" functionality. I can see what's up, and choose to ignore it or go to a more interactive device to action it. And I've limited those notifications to only apps that I feel are important enough to deserve the "look at me now" status. I have no idea how typical a user I am, but I would not be surprised to find out that people just aren't using the dedicated watch apps. They are by definition going to be more limited, slower, and less enjoyable to use.
    anantksundaramrezwits
  • Reply 9 of 59
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    Apple can capitalize on this.

    Revamp the native Maps app and make it 2x as useful on the Watch and iPhone.

    Develop a shopping iPhone+Watch app that alerts users of nearby deals(GPS) from retailers like Target etc. and online deals from retailers like Amazon, eBay etc.

    I feel like whenever apps and services fail Apple has the lovey and talent to pick up the slack and move forward.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 59
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,304member
    With the exception of Ebay's bid-notification, these apps don't have a real place on a watch.  The UI just isn't intuitive enough.  They won't be missed.  

    Seriously, Amazon on a watch?  Like I really want to do online shopping on a tiny screen like that?

    I'm waiting for Apple / 3rd party medical device integration via the wristband.  That will really make the product take off.

    StrangeDaysfotoformatmdriftmeyerrandominternetpersonmacplusplusjony0anton zuykovwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 59
    I was never able to get Google Maps to provide me turn by turn on the watch. Apple Maps haptic feedback on the watch is excellent for turns and such. I too am seeing more and more Apple Watches in the wild.
    equality72521StrangeDaysqwweraslprescotttycho_macuserjahbladewatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 59
    pbruttopbrutto Posts: 28member
    I must say, I love my Apple Watch (had one since day one....well, massive delay day 1). However. I think Apple tried their hardest to make it something other than a fitness and notification device, but that is what it is. Don't get me wrong, I love having it for notifications and fitness. Using it for HomeKit is quite nice too. I also use it for Apple Pay exclusively. I tried eBay's app, news apps, games, etc. they just do not appeal to me at all. I love it for weather, quicker to glance at my watch for time, temp, and forecast than check my phone. Stuff like the news gives you a few sentences, which isn't very helpful to me. Games are tiny. Picture viewing (other than a watchface) is tiny. It just isn't an app device. I would love to see Apple move forward with the watch as a fitness and notification device. Adding sensors is fine with me, coming up with new and improved ways to respond to messages, or perhaps getting 1 email that doesn't say "this message displays elements Apple Watch can't display" would be awesome. I would love to use it with NFC to unlock my car door (obviously cars need to be equipped to do such). There are lots of ways to improve it, I just don't think 3rd party apps are the answer.
    rezwitswatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 59
    rezwitsrezwits Posts: 597member
    I rarely use the eBay App on my iPhone! Sometimes I get in there if the timing is bad. But I just bought something over the weekend, and I am up to date, and on my watch I still got notifications... I think it's just the searching and purchasing etc App or App guts...
    edited May 2017 watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 59
    levilevi Posts: 344member
    I love my watch, wear and use it everyday. Native apps and functions are more than enough at this point. 
    blastdoorwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 59
    As if some of did not have enough problems with busy and overloaded UI on iPhone (whatever you touch - and you have to touch it precisely - it does something you may not expect) I need to do the same on my watch. Would it come with magnifier, pin or perhapse little designers small fingers to be able to use it? Alternatively create watch that is 10 inch diameter to use comfortably with those apps.
    <BR><BR>
    Watch is just watch for Pete's sake not an complex UI management and you cannot simplify this management beyond usability limits. Some people need to watch old comedy "Pentagon Wars" about design practicality and potential outcomes. It really reflects some of this stuff, but in military environment.
    edited May 2017 djsherly
  • Reply 16 of 59
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 6,045member
    mines a daily fixture. for apps I'm mostly using built-ins -- I've stopped using Philips Hue because it was so damn slow (Series 0) and prefer Apple's Home. i have Nest and use it occasionally, but its too damn slow and thus frustrating. i like Dark Sky but for some reason its face complication is offline half the time so I've moved it out. the only third-party i still use regularly is Facebook's Messenger, which makes sense as its nearly identical to Apple Messages. the rest of my apps are native -- Workouts, Activity, Messages, Now Playing, Remote, etc... 

    seems like the third parties just haven't got a handle on it yet.
    edited May 2017 watto_cobranetmage
  • Reply 17 of 59
    Safari crashed and didn't let me finish my comment :))) 

    long story short: let other developers abandon watch apps to let apple know that their product is too slow and mostly useless. 
  • Reply 18 of 59
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,338member
    Okay I like getting the Amazon delivery notices on my Watch, that explains what I have not seen them recently, then again, I must have not care since I did not notice they did not come up.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 59
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,884member
    I don't have much of a need for third party apps on the Watch. 

    The one exception is RideWithGPS, but the implementation isn't quite where I would like it to be (might not be the developers fault, but that's hard for me to assess). 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 59
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,406member
    I'm trying to think what 3rd-party apps I use on my Watch. Slack, Facebook, and Delivery Status notifications come to mind, and I occasionally use the Starbucks app, and I know I have a AAA app and Flight Tracker which I rarely use but are good to have. I've purged most of them a long time ago simply because I don't use them and because I'm not a fan of the watchOS Home Screen.

    I like Maestro64's idea of putting Amazon on there, but since they're leaving I guess I'll have to keep using Delivery Status.
    edited May 2017
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