Slack is latest major service to drop standalone Apple Watch app

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 31
Enterprise messaging platform Slack updated its iOS app on Wednesday and in doing so announced the deprecation of its standalone Apple Watch app, marking the latest major service to dump Apple's wrist-bound wearable.


Screenshots of Slack's now deprecated Watch app.


In release notes furnished alongside Slack version 3.36, the company said it will not longer support standalone Watch software. Instead, users will have to rely on notifications pushed to the wearable by the Slack iOS app.
Apple Watch users, there's now one iOS app for all of your needs. We've removed the standalone Watch App, but rest assured, receiving and replying to messages from your wrist works the same as before. It's like two for the price of one, but with apps.
Without a native Apple Watch app, Slack users will have to rely on the iOS app to read direct messages. Previously, the Watch version allowed users to interact with DMs, switch workspaces, view the number of unread messages in a given workspace and more.

Slack is the latest major vendor to pull its Apple Watch development assets. Last May, AppleInsider discovered a number of high-profile app makers, including Google Maps, Amazon, eBay and Target ended support for Apple Watch. Google later said it expected Apple Watch support to return, but the current version of Google Maps is still iOS only.

Developers have only offered vague answers to questions regarding the deprecation of their respective Apple Watch assets, but some cite a lack of interest from users. For Slack and products like it, wearable apps are loss leaders as such software can only hope to offer a fraction of the features presented by corresponding smartphone or tablet apps. In such cases, dedicating time and money to developing a Watch app becomes a questionable endeavor.

Apple Watch is a relatively new hardware format, and Apple itself is still attempting to find an optimal position for the device within its ecosystem. With the latest Series 3 versions, Apple is placing heavy emphasis on health and fitness, connectivity and first-party services like Apple Pay. New cellular capabilities untether Watch from a paired iPhone, but the device is still very much an accessory.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 37
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,048member
    Having just recently gotten a gen 1  Watch, I have to say, I really like it. Set my lunch timer with it, use Apple Pay with it, respond quickly to some texts, set up reminders, use remote, log into my work Mac (home Mac too old :( ) and even took an emergency phone call from my wife at work (was an actual emergency) when I happened to leave my phone on the other side of the building.

    However, I only use one non-Apple app regularly.

    now that I’ve been using it a month or so, I can see why devs have been tapering off on development.  Watch is a very Apple product which works incredibly well with all the features and conveniences of the Apple ecosystem and makes certain parts of being in the Apple ecosystem even more convenient. But it doesn’t really make a lot of sense for much else other than that. I’ve used Shazam a couple times, but hell even that’s Apple now. And that one other app I do use could be accomplished with reminders if I really wanted to. The only other app I wish was on the watch is a Bluetooth door key for my work so I didn’t have to fiddle with the phone app. Doubt the devs will ever get to it though, but that didn’t stop me from requesting it! 

     Watch is a fantastic little piece of tech and will obviously only get better with each new release, but it’s general usefulness beyond Apple’s ecosystem, for me, has yet to materialize. 
    edited January 31 wlymmacplusplusracerhomie3mazda 3slolliverblastdoorAirunJaejahbladeflashfan207mmatz
  • Reply 2 of 37
    That is too bad. I'm using Slack on my Apple Watch everyday. I've often getting pulled into meetings the last minute, and Slack on the Apple watch really helps people tracking me down. Oh well.
    arthurbachiaAirunJaerepressthiscornchip
  • Reply 3 of 37
    cornchip said:

     Watch is a fantastic little piece of tech and will obviously only get better with each new release, but it’s general usefulness beyond Apple’s ecosystem, for me, has yet to materialize. 
    I agree. At first I frequently found I would just pull out my phone because the Watch was so slow. Now that I have a Series 3 I wish I could try some of those discontinued apps again, just to see if the experience is better with speed. 

    But, to me, apps for Amazon and Target just don’t make much sense. I could see the eBay one being handy for bidding, but if it was slow forget it. 

    One thing I love and I think people forget or don’t even know about is using the camera app to see a preview from the iPhone camera and then trigger the shutter. So great, especially when using a tripod. 
    edited February 1 chialolliverAirunJaejahblademmatzrazorpitrepressthiscornchip
  • Reply 4 of 37
    I love having a feature rich SMALL phone, but I'm becoming convinced that Apple are not interested in small, unless it's a watch.

    I'm giving a lot of thought to net getting a new iPhone, but getting the cellular version of Apple Watch Series 4 (or Series 3, 2018 update).

    But if I can't leave my phone at home, there not much point.  The apps are critical.  Slack and eBay included.

    If Apple really want the wearable to have a large market - apps beyond fitness are key.  If it's fitness only they'll suffer enormous churn.

    Maybe the 'series 4' needs something that attracts the app makers back.  I though series 3 with cellular would do it - but we're seeing the opposite.

    e.g.; I want internet banking apps that allows inter-account transfers and bill payment from the watch, not just account balances.

    No idea what would tempt slack back though.
  • Reply 5 of 37
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,305member
    That is too bad. I'm using Slack on my Apple Watch everyday. I've often getting pulled into meetings the last minute, and Slack on the Apple watch really helps people tracking me down. Oh well.
    I use Slack on my Watch, but for notifications that are independent of the app. I never actually go to the app to send DMs (if it can do more than that, I'm not aware).
  • Reply 6 of 37
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,658member
    Making money from sw is already hard, covering every variant can only be done if there are enough potential users to cover the costs.

    Some will stay in, but others will find out it is just not worth the cost.
    cropr
  • Reply 7 of 37

    While I didn't find notifications of deliveries from Amazon very useful, EBay's Watch support was really useful. The bid notifications were a real boon since they reminded me to check the status of what I wanted.

    Maybe all these developers dropping support for the Watch has to do with the Watch finding it's niche in health and fitness.

    I still find it indispensable. So much so that I always carry a charger for the Watch just for emergencies.

  • Reply 8 of 37
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 3,592member
    Meh. 

    In many cases there’s little point in having a watch app if your phone has to be in your pocket to make the watch app work. 
  • Reply 9 of 37
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,658member
    Rayz2016 said:
    Meh. 

    In many cases there’s little point in having a watch app if your phone has to be in your pocket to make the watch app work. 
    That's not the case of the new LTE watch, but maybe they don't want to spend to many wholly independent, one app is enough work :-).
  • Reply 10 of 37
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,305member
    foggyhill said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    Meh. 

    In many cases there’s little point in having a watch app if your phone has to be in your pocket to make the watch app work. 
    That's not the case of the new LTE watch, but maybe they don't want to spend to many wholly independent, one app is enough work :-).
    I think his "if your phone has to be [connected] to work" statement means he's not talking about wholly independent apps, whether you have the LTE model with carrier service or not.

    I'm not sure where the primary issue resides, but I'd personally love to have Spotify and SiriusXM apps on my Watch. Same for Notes, which is all up to Apple. I know I can use one of many 3rd-party Notes apps, but I don't want to have to switch my Mac and iPhone Notes app, too.
  • Reply 11 of 37
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 3,592member
    foggyhill said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    Meh. 

    In many cases there’s little point in having a watch app if your phone has to be in your pocket to make the watch app work. 
    That's not the case of the new LTE watch, but maybe they don't want to spend to many wholly independent, one app is enough work :-).
    Trouble with the LTE watch is the carriers make it pretty unattractive price wise, if the carry it at all

    Apple needs its own network. (That is a suggestion: I’m not saying Apple will implode if it doesn’t deliver what I’m asking for by the middle of next week).  
    goodbyeranchAirunJaeStrangeDays
  • Reply 12 of 37
    I have the 2nd generation and rarely use it beyond getting notifications.
    So as long as I’d still see Slack notifications on my watch, I wouldn’t miss the actual Slack app, since it’s cumbersome to respond on the watch anyway - by then I’ll grab my phone to do that.

    I have the 2nd generation for a while now and I’m using it less and less, yet I’m satisfied with it. As long as I can look at the time, the device keeping my health stats, helping me navigate  and getting notifications, that’s alright with me.
  • Reply 13 of 37
    I have the 2nd generation and rarely use it beyond getting notifications.
    So as long as I’d still see Slack notifications on my watch, I wouldn’t miss the actual Slack app, since it’s cumbersome to respond on the watch anyway - by then I’ll grab my phone to do that.
    I can’t see a reason why the Watch wouldn’t/couldn’t get the Slack notifications (or eBay, etc), I get several notifications on my Watch from apps that are not Watch apps. 
  • Reply 14 of 37
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,814member
    cornchip said:
    Having just recently gotten a gen 1  Watch, I have to say, I really like it. Set my lunch timer with it, use Apple Pay with it, respond quickly to some texts, set up reminders, use remote, log into my work Mac (home Mac too old :( ) and even took an emergency phone call from my wife at work (was an actual emergency) when I happened to leave my phone on the other side of the building.

    However, I only use one non-Apple app regularly.

    now that I’ve been using it a month or so, I can see why devs have been tapering off on development.  Watch is a very Apple product which works incredibly well with all the features and conveniences of the Apple ecosystem and makes certain parts of being in the Apple ecosystem even more convenient. But it doesn’t really make a lot of sense for much else other than that. I’ve used Shazam a couple times, but hell even that’s Apple now. And that one other app I do use could be accomplished with reminders if I really wanted to. The only other app I wish was on the watch is a Bluetooth door key for my work so I didn’t have to fiddle with the phone app. Doubt the devs will ever get to it though, but that didn’t stop me from requesting it! 

     Watch is a fantastic little piece of tech and will obviously only get better with each new release, but it’s general usefulness beyond Apple’s ecosystem, for me, has yet to materialize. 
    Well said and I totally agree. This is my experience too.
  • Reply 15 of 37
    At the prices practiced here (in Brazil, Apple Watch series 3 starts at 810 US dollars!), that said, I'm still holding out to buy one. Though, I must say that the stampede of 3rd party apps leaving the platform is of no concern to me, as a potential buyer. I mostly want the watch for the notifications and fitness track, keeping my iPhone in my pocket, instead of fishing it out every time it buzzes.
  • Reply 16 of 37
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 4,994member
    The slack watch app has always been buggy, slow trash. Couldn't even switch teams. As long as there's the basic functionality of receiving notifications, that's enough for me. 
  • Reply 17 of 37
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,398member
    Apple Watch's capabilities and its popularity is growing significantly, but exactly how apps will fit are still "under investigation".  With AW only used for glances, short activities (plus all health & fitness), the traditional app model of the iPhone doesn't translate.  That might change with continuous improvement of h/w and better Siri in the future.
    cornchip
  • Reply 18 of 37
    To attract more apps appear in Apple Watch platform, and expand the the usage of the device beyond the fitness, it needs 2 things, Apple had finished the first one, standalone communication ability, they add the cellular connection in the latest model, the second, the ability to identify the user, Touch ID won’t be an option, the components is to big to the watch, how to integrate the Face ID to the watch is critical, and not mention to battery life.
    But, if Apple really make it....
  • Reply 19 of 37
    davendaven Posts: 457member
    cornchip said:
     Watch is a fantastic little piece of tech and will obviously only get better with each new release, but it’s general usefulness beyond Apple’s ecosystem, for me, has yet to materialize. 
    Early this month I picked up a Gen 3 watch for use as a continual heart rate monitor. I didn't expect to use it for much more than that but have found it quite useful for setting timers, Apple Pay (I have a 5s phone and didn't expect the watch to support Apple Pay because the phone doesn't but was pleasantly surprised to find out it does), sending and receiving text messages without getting my phone out of my pocket, etc. Also, the exercise and activity monitoring is a big plus.

    I had no plans of getting a smart watch (I haven't worn a watch since 2000) and didn't see a case for it until I read an article on 9to5mac about how the watch benefited a person by monitoring a person't heart rate and alarming him when it spiked in the middle of the night indicating he had problems. This can be a sign of sleep apnea and is quite stressful on the heart. Bottom line is that I found the watch to be a lot more useful than I had given it credit for before purchasing it.
    king editor the grateStrangeDays
  • Reply 20 of 37
    mmatzmmatz Posts: 17member
    Haven’t used Slack, so I don’t have a dog in that fight.  As for other apps leaving the Watch, it seems like a natural winnowing of the field.  For software companies wanting to jump on the Watch bandwagon, it makes sense to try it out, and if it doesn’t work, move on. No big deal, in my mind.

    I have a GPS-only version 3. I didn’t get the cellular version because I don’t leave home without my cellphone, ever. And at home, I can answer my phone on the watch (or put the call on hold, as I found out the other day), then switch to the phone if need be.

    To me the Watch is surprisingly and delightfully useful, as is. I see it as a natural and particularly well-executed extension of the iPhone.  Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t need it to be a standalone device. I can’t imagine texting on it for the kinds of conversations I often find myself in. And for phone calls, talking to my wrist just isn’t all that comfortable for long. So my phone does the heavy lifting of text, phone calls, web browsing, and using apps that just don’t seem suited for the Watch.  The Watch saves me from having to haul out the Phone for every little thing.  A winning combo.  But that’s me. YMMV.


    davenStrangeDayscornchip
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