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Slack Nixes its Standalone Apple Watch App

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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Over the course of the last few months, several companies have decided to end development on apps for the Apple Watch, focusing instead on Apple's iOS platform. The latest company to nix its Apple Watch app is Slack. If you're unfamiliar with Slack, it's a team communication and collaboration platform for businesses.

In an update to its iOS app today, Slack eliminated its standalone Apple Watch app. Slack customers will, however, still be able to respond to incoming messages on their Apple Watch thanks to rich notifications.

Apple Watch users, there's now one iOS app for all of your needs. We've removed the standalone Watch App, but rest assured, receiving and replying to messages from your wrist works the same as before. It's like two for the price of one, but with apps.
Slack's Apple Watch app, like many of the Apple Watch apps that have been abandoned, was never particularly useful, so it's no surprise Slack has decided not to dedicate additional resources to it. The Slack Apple Watch app let users view unread mentions and view and respond to direct messages, but these features were not easy to use on a wrist-worn device. It also let users receive and interact with notifications, features that are still available through an iPhone.

When the Apple Watch was released, most companies developed an Apple Watch app for the device even if the app didn't do anything useful, because it wasn't yet clear how and when people would use apps on the wrist. As the Apple Watch has matured, though, it's become clear that most dedicated apps offering anything beyond a quick interaction aren't used often enough to be a worthwhile use of company resources.

For example, Twitter in September ended support for the Apple Watch, eliminating the standalone Twitter app on the device. At the time, Twitter said that it felt notifications were the most helpful part of the Apple Watch Twitter experience, which is also what Slack is now relying on.

Other companies that have stopped offering Apple Watch apps include Target, eBay, Whole Foods, Amazon, and Google (for Google Maps). eBay and Google have both said Apple Watch support might return in the future, but have not yet released new apps.

Article Link: Slack Nixes its Standalone Apple Watch App
 

jrlcopy

macrumors 6502
Jun 20, 2007
480
340
Haha duh, I turned this on once at the office, I had maybe 4 hours of battery life with my watch, the constant notifications... Slack is def not built for a small screen, even normal slack notifications I've shut off.
 
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btrach144

macrumors demi-god
Aug 28, 2015
2,056
4,719
Indiana
Reminds me of when everyone started announcing they were removing their apps from the windows phone store. A few years later and Windows Phone is dead.

Will the watch go down the path?
 
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Elijahg

macrumors 6502
May 23, 2005
269
173
Bath, UK
I'm not at all surprised, I don't use any third party apps on my Series 1 Watch as they're so unreliable. More often than not they sit with an endlessly rotating loading indicator, and I give up after about 20 seconds before the app's loaded. The Watch is supposed to be about quick interactions, that's impossible with third party apps. I don't blame third party developers, since pretty much all apps are the same; slow and unreliable.
 
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341328

Suspended
Jul 18, 2009
732
951
The Apple Watch... third party apps really suffer due to Apple's lack of custom watch faces that could allow for a greater level of information to be displayed at a glace ie. multiple calendars showing, ability to scroll the digital crown down to see more info / complications etc.
 
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fairuz

macrumors 68020
Aug 27, 2017
2,486
2,589
Silicon Valley
Reminds me of when everyone started announcing they were removing their apps from the windows phone store. A few years later and Windows Phone is dead.

Will the watch go down the path?
It only looks like they're removing it because rich notifications do the job anyway. Also, Slack's apps are super heavy for no reason on all platforms. They probably couldn't figure out how to make it work on the watch.
 
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haruhiko

macrumors 603
Sep 29, 2009
5,216
3,172
The only app I use on the Apple Watch except the stock apps is Carrot Weather. Nothing else.
 
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JohnApples

macrumors 68000
Mar 7, 2014
1,524
2,389
Makes sense. Watch (third party) apps are mostly pointless still to this day. I have 15 installed on my watch and regularly use 0 of them. It’s not that they’re all bad ideas, they’re just too slow and barebones for them to be convenient or useful.

I’m willing to bet the stock apps do the job just fine for 90% of Watch owners.
I’d much rather have a watch face store than a watch App Store.
 
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macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
11,256
15,296
Central U.S.
Kinda sad that this keeps happening. Apple needs to do something to improve the interface. Perhaps a hardware change—maybe a larger face that’s more like a flexible display band? I don’t know.

At this point I’ve removed most third party apps. What remains is Calcbot, Mint, Overcast, RadarScope, Things, and Tweetbot. I also occasionally use Qardio to check my blood pressure using a bluetooth cuff and Weber to monitor the bluetooth probes on my grill. I also switched to using app list view last autumn and wish I could hide some first party apps so the list is shorter to navigate. IMO the Watch is best with a minimal amount of apps.
 
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- rob -

macrumors 6502a
Apr 18, 2012
656
423
Oakland, CA
I have felt for some time that the watch is largely an open hw and sw prototyping tool for the Apple glasses.

Apps really don’t make a lot of sense but the annual effort to miniaturize, increase capability (gps, LTE hw and service integration) all seems like public testing toward some other tiny device.
 
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fairuz

macrumors 68020
Aug 27, 2017
2,486
2,589
Silicon Valley
Kinda sad that this keeps happening. Apple needs to do something to improve the interface. Perhaps a hardware change—maybe a larger face that’s more like a flexible display band? I don’t know.

At this point I’ve removed most third party apps. What remains is Calcbot, Mint, Overcast, RadarScope, Things, and Tweetbot. I also occasionally use Qardio to check my blood pressure using a bluetooth cuff and Weber to monitor the bluetooth probes on my grill. I also switched to using app list view last autumn and wish I could hide some first party apps so the list is shorter to navigate. IMO the Watch is best with a minimal amount of apps.
The lag is what turned me away instantly. I tried the vanilla one at the Apple retail store every time they released a new gen. They still don't seem to have fixed the lag even with their own UI.
 
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TheColtr

macrumors 6502
Feb 1, 2014
393
304
California
Reminds me of when everyone started announcing they were removing their apps from the windows phone store. A few years later and Windows Phone is dead.

Will the watch go down the path?

No it won’t. Just looking at the holiday sales watch was a huge seller. A few Apple Stores even sold out of watches. The problem with WP was that it had no dev support and no customers using it. The watch doesn’t have great dev suppprt, but there is a massive amount of people that have the watch.
 
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ipedro

macrumors 603
Nov 30, 2004
5,429
6,524
Toronto, ON
Not all apps work well on the wrist. Everyone jumped at the opportunity to be on Apple’s newest platform without giving much thought to whether they should be on it.

Notifications, complications and SiriKit are sufficient for some app types.
 
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Nicky G

macrumors 6502a
Mar 24, 2002
902
709
Baltimore
My company uses Slack heavily. I get Slack notifications to my Apple Watch all day long, and I respond to some of them on there.

I installed the Slack app on my Apple Watch the day I got the watch, and deleted it within five minutes.

So... Yeah, not surprising! I'll still find the Slack Apple Watch notifications to be useful.
 
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Jesse Waugh

Suspended
Nov 10, 2017
144
168
New York City
I have felt for some time that the watch is largely an open hw and sw prototyping tool for the Apple glasses.

Apps really don’t make a lot of sense but the annual effort to miniaturize, increase capability (gps, LTE hw and service integration) all seems like public testing toward some other tiny device.

Perhaps a brain implant?
 
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foobarbaz

macrumors 6502a
Nov 29, 2007
585
743
The Slack app was useless.

It could have been great for quickly catching up on a channel. But you couldn't read channels, yet send direct messages. Who wants to do that on the watch?

I bet they removed it, because nobody was using it. No surprise. Well, make the app useful and people will use it.

Notifications are a poor solution, because if you want to stay sane, you have to disable most Slack notifications. But just because you don't want them to annoy you, doesn't mean you don't want them on the watch.
 
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