Google Maps, eBay and Amazon have pulled their support for the Apple Watch, according to AppleInsider. All three dropped their watch apps from the App Store quietly without anyone noticing… until now.
Google hints that it’s temporary
Google seems to have adopted a strategy similar to that of Amazon and eBay, which first launched dedicated apps for the wearable but then removed them in recent updates, notes AppleInsider. Although it is not confirmed when the action was taken, for Google, AppleInsider believes it was a few weeks ago. Amazon and eBay are believed to have dropped their watch app in late April. Google has confirmed that it has removed its watch app, but it also indicated that it could be temporary.
“We removed Apple Watch support from our latest iOS release but expect to support it again in the future,” the search giant said in a statement.
The Google Maps app for the watch offered walking, driving and transit directions one after another for destinations the user visited recently. Further, on Apple’s watch, Google Maps did not display the usual map view, which disappointed users to a great extent.
When the Apple Watch came to the market for the first time, there were about 3,000 apps in multiple categories such as travel, health, family, communication and work, fitness and other such activities.
Why are big names dropping their Apple Watch apps?
As of now, there have been no comments from the Cupertino-based company on the developments. There is no clarity why the companies decided to remove their apps for the watch or whether Apple is playing any role in the decision.
The possibility of a new watchOS during WWDC in June could be a probable reason why the companies pulled their apps temporarily. However, the development hardly came into the limelight even after some of the biggest names left the platform. One of the simplest explanations could be that users simply did not use these apps on their watches, notes Mashable.
Ben Bajarin, a Creative Strategies analyst who conducted research into Apple Watch usage, tweeted that analysts have “known for a long time certain apps (health/fitness) do well. Others don’t fit the use case yet.”
The Cupertino-based company unveiled its smartwatch two years ago with aggressive future plans for the wearable. However, the software running on the watch was limited, and the apps were usually extensions of the iPhone apps. These apps were largely dependent on the iPhone, and users were required to use the watch in the vicinity of the iPhone.
In the latter half of 2016, watchOS 3 was launched, which enabled app developers to design standalone apps for the watch, independent of the iPhone. These standalone apps were swifter and could perform better. However, even then, apps in categories such as quick notification, fitness and health performed better on the wearable, notes CNET.
More details about this recent development are expected next month when the iPhone maker is expected to discuss its watch software at its annual developer confab.