Things are not looking good for Apple as another developer quietly makes its exit from the Watch platform. The latest iOS update stealthily removes Instagram.
Reports from industry sources pointed out that the Cupertino company opted to block all updates for WatchOS apps that rely on the iPhone to refresh its data. The new rules apparently took effect on April 1, which required developers to upgrade its software or be automatically dropped from the wearable's platform. It seems that the company plans to market its device separately unlike before wherein users are expected to pair with the smartphone most of the time.
Reasons For The Removal
Apple did not exactly specify that it removed the app from its device, but its latest stand on non-native apps tell the story. Others speculate that it's a decision that was made in order to promote its wearable lineup for both Wi-Fi only and LTE models.
Now that there are a lot of options when it comes to smartwatches, manufacturers attempt to deliver features that make their products independent from a paired handset. Meanwhile, there are opinions that imply that the photo-sharing app lacked features such as video-playback and messaging. Moreover, it was somewhat unusable on the device's small screen according to some users.
The List of Abandoned Apps Is Growing
Now that Instagram has been removed from the Apple Watch platform, it joins other previously abandoned apps such as Google Maps, Whole Foods, Slack, Amazon, and eBay. It is currently unknown if the developer might reintroduce updated versions of the program in the near future.
It is possible that some of these apps were deemed to be problematic since the slower first-generation wearables favored first-party developed programs instead. However, the latest models offer better hardware than its predecessors, which just might push the companies to revisit development for the WatchOS platform.
Despite the removal of Instagram and other notable apps from the Apple Watch, this does not mean that the device is not meeting sales targets. Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, even shared that the sales numbers for the series 3 models were double of its predecessor.
LTE connectivity and ruggedness appear to be welcome improvements made to the premium wearable product. A quick survey likewise revealed that most users want a good notification support from its WatchOS apps. In order for new apps to be compatible with the device, it should have native support and must be built with the latest SDK version.