Several major brands have dropped their Apple Watch apps in the past few weeks. Curiously, no one seems to have noticed.
Among the apps that no longer work on the Apple Watch are the ones from eBay, Amazon, Google Maps, and Target. Their disappearance was first spotted by Apple Insider, which notes Google Maps was removed several weeks ago, while Amazon and eBay support has been missing for a few days.
It’s not clear why the apps have been removed, but it could just be a temporary situation. Google told ZDNet’s sister site CNET that it intends to bring back Google Maps support at some point.
“We removed Apple Watch support from our latest iOS release but expect to support it again in the future,” Google said.
While Amazon’s one-click purchasing app had questionable value on the Apple Watch, Google Maps is arguably a more useful app. Google’s Watch maps app was a basic version of its iOS app and had several constraints, including the requirement that searches are done from a phone.
That it disappeared several weeks ago without a public reaction suggests Watch owners weren’t using the app. It also raises questions about the role of third-party apps on the Watch, if users prefer Apple’s own more tightly integrated equivalents.
However, it could be that developers are still figuring out what works on the Apple Watch some two years after its first release. As noted by CNET, Creative Strategies analyst Ben Bajarin pointed out that certain apps such as health and fitness are known to do well, while others make less sense.
Apple doesn’t disclose Apple Watch sales but it may give an update at its second-quarter earnings report today, and at its upcoming WWDC developer conference in June, where it could reveal a new version of watchOS. WatchOS 3, announced at last year’s WWDC, introduced standalone apps.
Asymco analyst Horace Dediu estimates Apple has sold about 2.3 million Apple Watch units in the second quarter.