Apple has just shut down the Instagram app for Apple Watch in its effort to boost the watch’s speed. In recent months several other non-native apps have been silently removed from the watchOS.
Following a recent update, the Instagram app no longer works with the Apple Watch, even though no one mentioned the change in the release notes. Users who have upgraded their watch to version 39.0 reported not being able to use Instagram.
Instagram is one of the first apps added to the watch OS. The app only enabled users to see notifications and alerts from their Apple Watch even though the watchOS has gained new features in recent years.
Instagram was never updated to match the Apple Watch’s new features. This is why, the app didn’t run on LTE or Wi-Fi even though the wearable has been able to load apps without help from an iPhone for quite some time. Even though Facebook Messenger is now supported on Apple Watch, the Instagram app never included texting features.
Apple Killing Non-Native Apps
Apple has killed other major apps for its watch, including Amazon, Slack, Google Maps, Whole Foods, and eBay. Many of these apps were replaced with native versions, which aren’t always on the users’ liking.
Third-party apps find it harder to access Apple Watch because Apple grants more permissions to its native apps. Also, the first generation of Apple Watches lacked the necessary resources to run social network apps.
Most app developers for Apple Watch still struggle to find the right balance between am engaging experience and the watch’s resources. We can only expect richer notifications for the watchOS in the future.
It wasn’t immediately clear why Apple ditched Instagram, but the move likely has something to do with a new policy. Apple now wants watchOS app updates to no longer be developed by third-parties. The new requirement is effective starting this week.
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