While Apple continues to contend that the Apple Watch is selling well and is meeting expectations, there’s been a cloud of negativity surrounding wearables lately, including Google’s Android Wear platform.
Now, in an interesting twist news has broken courtesy of Apple Insider that major apps from a variety of tech giants have been quietly dropped from Apple’s watchOS operating system. For example, Google Maps, Amazon and eBay have disappeared from the Apple Watch App Store without an explanation.
In fact, it looks like Google pulled support for Maps on watchOS a few weeks ago and very few users noticed. Amazon and eBay on the other hand, no longer include support for the Apple Watch in either app’s description and integration seems to have been removed. Another notable app that seem to have abandoned Apple’s wearable is TripAdvisor.
It’s possible that while the Apple Watch version of these app’s had a small number of users, the amount was likely so tiny that it wasn’t worth maintaining them. With the exception being Google Maps, in some ways it also makes sense for these apps to disappear given that they aren’t exactly ideal for the Apple Watch’s tiny display or watchOS.
It’s also possible that Google could be preparing to release an upgraded version of Google Maps for the inevitable release of watchOS 4, but nothing has been revealed yet.
While I’m an avid Apple Watch user (yes, I actually wear an Apple Watch almost everyday), I find myself utilizing the smartwatch’s apps far less than I used to, instead opting to use the wearable primarily for notifications. With the release of the Apple Watch Series 2, even Apple has slowly been pivoting the wearable towards being a fitness tracking and companion device.
MobileSyrup will have more news on the Apple Watch’s future coming out of the Cupertino, California-based company’s annual World Wide Developer’s Conference (WWDC) this June in San Jose.
Update o5/02/17: Amazon has responded to these reports, saying the following:
“There are a number of reasons we don’t think this is the right solution for our customers at this time,” said a spokesperson from the company in an interview with The Verge. “We are always trying new things and look forward to experimenting with wearable solutions in the future.”
Google echoed this sentiment regarding Google Maps, stating that it “removed Apple Watch support from our latest iOS release, but expect to support it again in the future.”