In a bizarre turn of events, some major companies, including Amazon, Google, and eBay, have quietly updated their iOS apps reflecting that support for watchOS companion apps will no longer be offered. What’s so strange about this is that it’s a trend which has been taking place over the last few months — as recent updates to eBay, Amazon, and Google Maps apps have been updated removing support for future watchOS updates.
In the April 17th, version 4.30.0 update to Google Maps, for instance, it appears that the Mountain View, California Search-giant has ditched support for the Apple Watch companion app entirely — even despite the end of support not being mentioned anywhere in the update’s release notes. This could be due to a number of reasons, including that the app was simply not being used enough, or perhaps that Google has temporarily withdrawn support for Maps so as to bring changes the user experience on Apple Watch.
Fortunately, when contacted by a myriad of news outlets for comment on the situation this morning, Google responded in a Tweet, saying “We removed Apple Watch support from our latest iOS release,” however “[we] expect to support it again in the future.”
Of course, this comment may or may not indicate that Google has just temporarily withdrawn support for watchOS, while it works towards an update that fortifies the Apple Watch experience for Google Maps users — but an expectation of “supporting it again in the future” is certainly a good reason to stay tuned for an update.
Meanwhile, online commerce giants Amazon and eBay — whose iOS apps were last updated on April 20th and April 24th, respectively — also withdrew support for their Apple Watch companion apps. The eBay app for Apple Watch, in particular, had boasted a number of features like the ability to track bid statuses and receive sale notifications. Amazon, likewise, withdrew support for its Apple Watch companion app — but I suppose one can only fathom that the experience of shopping on their wrist is not for the faint of heart, right?
Worth noting is that while there may be no clear indication from Amazon or eBay about the future of their apps, it could very well be that they simply were not being used enough for the commerce-giants to justify issuing updates. However, on the whole, these Apple Watch-abandoning updates have essentially slipped by under the radar, leaving us with little choice but to speculate until further notice.