ORIGINALLY WRITTEN BY – SHARA TIBKEN OF CNET, APPLE INSIDER & TWITTER
EDITED AND CURATED BY – THE STARTUP CHANNEL FOR THE TECH POST
Forget about using your Apple Watch to navigate using Google Maps.
Some big-name apps have dumped their Apple Watch apps in recent weeks. That includes Amazon, eBay, Google Maps and Target, as first spotted by Apple Insider. It’s not clear when all were removed from the Apple Watch but said some, like Google Maps, have been gone for weeks.
Google confirmed it had removed support from Google Maps with its latest update on April 17 but suggested that move might be temporary.
“We removed Apple Watch support from our latest iOS release but expect to support it again in the future,” Google said in a statement.
Amazon, meanwhile, declined to say when it removed Apple Watch support but confirmed it no longer supports the Apple Watch.
“We are constantly innovating on behalf of our customers,” Amazon said in a statement. “There are a number of reasons we don’t think this is the right solution for our customers at this time. We are always trying new things and look forward to experimenting with wearable solutions in the future.”
Apple didn’t respond to a request for comment, nor did eBay. Target declined to comment. It’s unclear why the companies decided to remove support for their apps on the Apple Watch, or whether Apple had a role in their decision.
Apple likely will talk about its watch software at its annual developer confab next month. It also reports earnings on Tuesday, but it has never detailed Apple Watch sales in its quarterly financials.
Creative Strategies analyst Ben Bajarin, who’s 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.”
Apple launched its smartwatch two years ago with ambitious plans for the device, but the early software capable of running on the Apple Watch was limited. Apps initially were extensions of their iPhone apps, letting you do very little if you didn’t have your phone nearby. The device hit the market in early 2015 with 3,000 apps in multiple categories such as family, travel, health and fitness, creativity, work and communications.
The release of Apple’s WatchOS 3 software in late 2016 allowed app developers to make standalone apps for the Apple Watch. That meant they were faster and could do more. Still, it’s largely areas like quick notifications and health and fitness that have done well on the Apple Watch.