Google Maps, Amazon ditch Apple Watch apps

Apple Watch
Apple Watch. Image: Apple

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3 May 2017 | 0

Google, Amazon, and eBay have left the Apple Watch App Store in recent weeks but while this could be a sign that the developers consider the watch a failed platform, there might be more to the story.

The disappearing apps, spotted by AppleInsider, were, frankly, not that great. Google’s Maps app was a half-hearted attempt at providing directions on your wrist and no match for Apple’s native Maps app.

Google said Tuesday it is actually revamping its Maps app and plans to stage a comeback with a future iOS update, which makes sense. App developers rushed to push out Apple Watch apps before they figured out what the watch was best for. Notifications, fitness, and messaging? Yes. Shopping and social networking? Not so much.

Of the major apps that have vanished from the watch App Store, eBay’s app was the most useful. Its main function was sending alerts about bids on auction items. Anyone who’s lost out on an auction after looking away for a few minutes knows that a buzz on the wrist could’ve been helpful.

As a platform, the Apple Watch has improved by leaps and bounds since the device launched two years ago. But app developers are learning that the wrist is not the best place for many, many services. Hopefully major players like Amazon and Google are rethinking their watch strategy and will return with apps you’ll actually want to use.

IDG News Service

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