One of the things I mentioned in my Apple Watch first impressions post was how awful third-party apps seem to be. This week Uber silently dropped support for its watch app in a comically terrible way — opening the app now displays a poorly-worded message and a sad face emoji. What a ridiculous thing to do.
I don’t use Uber, but pulling watch apps out of the store has been a trend among the bigger tech companies. Uber joins Lyft, Instagram, Slack, and others in the Apple Watch app graveyard. I was working at Instagram when their watch app was released. To be honest, it was dumb and, per analytics data, almost no one used it. The main motivator for building it was to be featured in an Apple Keynote, thus its eventual removal from the store. Of course no one wanted Instagram on their watch.
I think many apps simply don’t make sense on the watch. I would not install any of the above apps, for example. But even apps that do seem to belong on Apple Watch remain awful. In my earlier post, I mentioned how RunKeeper was no match for the built-in Workout app. RunKeeper is glitchy, flakey, and has a significantly inferior UI compared to the Workout app.