Apple Watch is a hit. No other smartwatch compares in capability, quality, or sales. After just a few years, Apple owns a huge chunk of the entire watch industry. So, why are Watch apps dying by the dozens?
Starting April 1, 2018, updates to watchOS 1 apps will no longer be accepted. Updates must be native apps built with the watchOS 2 SDK or later. New watchOS apps should be built with the watchOS 4 SDK or later.
The Instagram app for Apple Watch will no longer be available as a stand-alone experience once users upgrade to Instagram version 39 on iOS, released April 2, 2018
Uh oh. What happened? A trend? Yes. A number of brand name applications have decided to pack it up, close it down, kick the can, buy the farm.
Why? Which apps?
Quite a few other companies have also taken down their watchOS apps in recent months. The good news is that these businesses were just half-heartedly supporting Apple Watch anyway. The bad news is that some big-name apps were just getting half-hearted support, such as Google Maps, Amazon, and eBay.
The problem should be obvious. In the gold rush to Apple’s Watch platform, many name brand app developers tried to muscle their way into the growing platform but with Watch apps that didn’t exactly catch on fire.
eBay? Seriously? Amazon? Like you’re going to buy something from Amazon using a rinky dinky Watch screen? Watch is an excellent exercise and health tracker. Watch is an excellent alert, alarm, and notification device. Watch is highly customizable and exceedingly useful so long as you choose which apps to use, understand how notifications work, and can spell and define complications.
Does anyone think you’re going to use Instagram on Watch to post photos? No. The real question is, “Why can’t Facebook and other app developers figure that out?” They did not and those are the types of Watch apps that are dying. Others are thriving.
You won’t find Photoshop or Final Cut Pro on iPhone for the same reasons. The platform cannot handle the requirements. Likewise, what is convenient and useful on iPhone is not necessarily made for Watch.
Some apps live. Some apps die.