Google Maps, Amazon, and eBay Drop Apple Watch Support [Updated x3]

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, May 1, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Over the course of the last few months, several major companies have quietly removed support for the Apple Watch from their apps. As first noted by AppleInsider, Google Maps, Amazon, and eBay have pulled their Apple Watch apps from the App Store.

    Google Maps, Amazon, and eBay were all early supporters of the Apple Watch, releasing apps within a few months of the device's April 2015 debut.


    Checking today, none of the three companies offer Apple Watch apps, having quietly removed Apple Watch functionality through App Store updates. It's not entirely clear when each app was updated to remove Apple Watch support, with the feature elimination appearing to have largely gone under the radar.

    That three major apps were able to remove Apple Watch support without much fanfare seems to explain the reasoning behind the decision to cease offering an Apple Watch app, as it suggests there weren't many people using the apps in question. Whether the removal of the apps is permanent is unknown.

    Google Maps was perhaps the only app that was useful on the wrist, with quick directions to places like home and work. Amazon's Apple Watch app simply allowed for voice-based searches and one-tap purchases, something that's easier to do on a phone or computer, while eBay's offered notifications for auctions being tracked on the site, which also required the concurrent use of an iPhone or Mac to track content in the first place.

    Target has also recently removed Apple Watch support from its Target app, but Apple Watch functionality remains available via the separate Cartwheel by Target app.

    With the Apple Watch having celebrated its second birthday on April 24, the kinds of apps that work on the wrist-worn device are becoming more clear, allowing companies to stop using resources on content that's not suitable for a wearable device.

    Update: In a statement, a Google spokesperson said the Apple Watch app has been temporarily removed but will be re-launched later. "We removed Apple Watch support from our latest iOS release but expect to support it again in the future."

    Update 2: Amazon has issued a statement to CNET's Shara Tibken on its removal of Apple Watch support: "We are constantly innovating on behalf of our customers. 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."

    Update 3: In a Twitter response to a customer question, eBay says it is "revamping" its Apple Watch app: "We are in the works of revamping it. We don't currently have a release timeframe from our mobile team."

    Article Link: Google Maps, Amazon, and eBay Drop Apple Watch Support [Updated x3]
  2. andy.ringwood Suspended

    Nov 20, 2016
    They don't do enough. Simple. Hopefully something changes in watchOS 4.
  3. Appleaker macrumors 68020

    Jun 13, 2016
  4. kbsj007 macrumors newbie


    Jul 26, 2010
    Tacoma, WA
    As a Series 2 owner I think the reason is because AW2 with watchOS 3.2 is still a gimmick than a useful companion hardware.
  5. trainwrecka macrumors 6502

    Apr 24, 2007
    I use the watch for tracking... that's about it. Even PokemonGo's watch app isn't all that great. Most of the apps I've installed are buggy as all get out.
  6. ztw2002 macrumors regular

    Oct 2, 2012
    New York City
    The only app I used on my watch is the default workout app.
  7. Leonard1818 macrumors 68020

    Nov 15, 2011
    I really don't see the point of a redundant watch app for something like Amazon.
  8. Smith288 macrumors 65816


    Feb 26, 2008
    Ok, but the implementation was there and was useful (Google Maps) so its weird they removed it. The rest of those apps, with the exception of maybe the eBay app I dont find very useful.
  9. Nick A macrumors regular

    May 10, 2009
    Smart watches are and only have been useful for receiving notifications. As someone who wears an Apple Watch every day, I've only ever used it to peak at notifications and occasionally Apple Pay.

    Developers are realizing it's not worth the time to update their apps for the functionality if no one uses it.
  10. springsup, May 1, 2017
    Last edited: May 1, 2017

    springsup macrumors 65816


    Feb 14, 2013
    This. The SDK is strangling the platform - it only suits Apple's built-in Apps. If we had more freedom, we could build better and more engaging Applications.

    EDIT: I'm not saying that you should be browsing the web on your watch - I'm saying that the current platform limitations mean that you can't make imaginative experiences. There are a whole world of experiences between the current "everything is a list" and full-blown rich HTML web browsing.
  11. Mlrollin91 macrumors G5


    Nov 20, 2008
    Ventura County
    Not gonna lie, that is slightly disconcerting.
  12. oneMadRssn macrumors 601


    Sep 8, 2011
    New England
    I agree Google maps was useful, but their map on a wrist implementation was not as good as Apple Maps. I was hoping they would improve it rather than just get rid of it.
  13. SumYoungGai macrumors 6502a

    Jun 11, 2013
    SF Bay Area, CA
    Part of it might be the fact that if you're wearing the Watch, your phone is likely to be nearby. Unlocking your phone and getting information on a larger and faster device makes more sense. I don't ever use my Watch except for being notified of incoming messages at work.
  14. coolfactor macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2002
    Vancouver, BC CANADA
    I used an Apple Watch for the first time this past weekend. I can understand why this device is having a difficult time grabbing hold of the market.

    Design-wise, I find the rounded sides of the screen give (me) a lack of confidence with regards to interacting with the screen. How do I explain it? It's like one of those cheaper mattresses where the edges collapse easily. You find yourself wanting to hang out away from the edges. The down-sloping sides of the watch face give me that same sense of wanting to stay in the middle, and the edges feel "uncertain". It makes the workable space feel much smaller than it is.

    In the watch faces above, you can see rather large margins around the edges of the usable screen. If Apple would take advantage of that, and use a flatter overall design, it would make the watch feel bigger without making it bigger physically.

    I think voice will become a much bigger method of interacting with the watch than touch, and I think Apple has that goal, too. The watch has a bright future.
  15. barkomatic macrumors 68040

    Aug 8, 2008
    The only truly useful part is fitness tracking and there are arguably cheaper and better focused devices for that. If a facetime camera is ever added I might bite for that, but only because of a neato, I can't believe we can do this feeling.
  16. rizzo41999 macrumors 6502


    May 27, 2009
    Not thrilled about it, but makes sense. Most of the apps I use on my 2015 model are stock apps and Foursquare/Swarm.
  17. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    Well, I have an iPhone. And an iPad. And a MacBook. And a 27" screen. Which one would I use for eBay or Amazon?

    But I suppose what's really happening is that anyone who made a watch app because they thought they need a watch app is now figuring out that they didn't really need a watch app. Instead you want apps that are actually useful on a watch, for people who have an iPhone in their pocket.
  18. Amacfa macrumors 68000


    May 22, 2009
    The Apple Watch is an amazing companion device despite what the trolls on here say.

    Right now it just does too much, we need a thinner Apple Watch that does notifications, time, and basic interactions. Like the 'Macbook' of Apple Watches.

    This thing is like wearing a 2011 MacBook Pro
  19. pesos macrumors 6502a


    Mar 30, 2006
    Watch integration is the reason I now use Apple Maps more than the Googs.

    I use the watch for swim and run tracking.

    I use it to turn lights in the house off and on via siri.

    I use it most of all for the plethora of two-factor authentication prompts I deal with during the workday.

    Was also hoping Google Maps would improve, not disappear.
  20. andy.ringwood Suspended

    Nov 20, 2016
    Yep. The only apps that make sense on a watch are health and fitness apps. Games are useless, shopping apps are useless. I could go on.
  21. err404 macrumors 68020

    Mar 4, 2007
    To be fair, these apps were terrible on the watch and made little sense. Not really a loss.
  22. JohnApples macrumors 65816

    Mar 7, 2014
    Not surprising unfortunately. Most 3rd party apps don't translate well to the tiny screen of the Watch. The ones that do are still horribly buggy. The only ones worth downloading are weather, fitness, and reminder/list apps. All of which have stock versions.

    Honestly, I would MUCH rather have a 3rd party watch face store than an App Store.
  23. LordQ Suspended


    Sep 22, 2012
    Well good riddance, who wants to shop through their watch anyway? I wish we had a stock calculator app though.
  24. Porco, May 1, 2017
    Last edited: May 1, 2017

    Porco macrumors 68030


    Mar 28, 2005
    It does still feel like many are at the 'throwing stuff at the wall and figuring out exactly what sticks'-stage.

    I am very happy with my Watch, but there is still undoubtedly huge room for improvement in terms of apps and the depth of functionality and information they can provide. And some things just aren't really suited for the Watch at all.

    Saying that, I think it's a shame if people are dismissive of the Watch being useful for anything but fitness tracking and telling the time. On my Watch I enjoy getting football score updates, text messages, having access to short notes, a calculator... all without needing to get my phone out. Everyone's uses will vary, of course.
  25. pnoyblazed macrumors 6502a


    Mar 1, 2008
    I'm still waiting on the official Spotify app for the watch

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