Instapaper Removes Their Apple Watch App

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 1 min read

This is an all-too familiar headline, and it’s one that lands less hard each time. While the Apple Watch continues to have significant growth and customer satisfaction is through the roof, people’s interest in most third party apps is incredibly low. Some specific apps get good use on the watch (weather and messaging, specifically), but the watch is proving to not be a platform for everything.

When the Apple Watch launched in early 2015, every developer and their mother brought some version of their app to the platform. While most of those apps sucked (people didn’t understand how to actually use a smart watch yet), the longer term problem has proven that people still like to do most things on the phone.

I don’t think all these apps removing their Apple Watch components is an indication the Apple Watch is doomed, I just think it means the watch is something fundamentally different from the other platforms it’s related to. The question is whether that’s because watches are just not good for most traditional apps, or because Apple does not yet have a good enough platform for a wide array of apps to work well for users. I suspect it’s the latter option, and the challenge then is how to start moving towards fixing that. I have no idea, but I’m thinking about it.