Meta to kill Messenger for Apple Watch next month

May 12, 2023

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Apple Watch users will no longer be able to respond to Messenger messages starting next month. The announcement was shared with the users of the device through a notification, which disappointed some users.

Apple Watch users have recently received a message from Meta through their wearable that reads: “After May 31st, Messenger won’t be available as an Apple Watch app, but you can still get Messenger notifications on your watch.” This means that Apple Watch will only show notifications on watches paired with their iPhones starting in June. This is a huge inconvenience since many Apple Watch users use the wearable for responding to Messenger messages without the aid of their phones.

No words from Meta can explain the decision, but it is important to stress that Messenger joins a list of other discontinued Apple Watch apps, including Twitter, Instagram, Target, Trello, Slack, Hulu, Uber, Microsoft Authenticator, Amazon, eBay, TripAdvisor, Pokémon GO, and Telegram.

Meanwhile, fans and enthusiasts started airing their disappointment over the decision, with some speculating reasons behind this.

“Apple forces developers since iOS 16 to use the new SwiftUI framework for Apple Watch apps, which is very buggy and many UI elements missing,” commented one user on Reddit. “Because of this change many developers stop developing for Apple Watch, because no one wants to learn an entire new framework and way to develop just for an Apple Watch app.”

“Developers are discovering that there isn’t a big demand for Watch apps,” said another user. “I’d also argue many app developers were missing the point of the Apple Watch early on, and didn’t really follow Apple’s design guidelines. Apple has always told developers that Apple Watch apps should be designed for very short interactions (around 2 sec). Watch apps are not supposed to be fully-fledged apps designed to stay a longer time in, like iOS apps are. They’re to quickly glance at information, or to perform very quick actions.”

On the other hand, given the news follows the recent one about WhatsApp testing a native WearOS app for Google, some people started making speculations that Meta might be going all in on Android.

“Ironic that this announcement was made the same day as the WhatsApp Wear OS app,” one Reddit user stated. “Meta seems to hate Apple a lot and probably the only company I know of that prioritises Wear OS and Android tablets over the Apple equivalents.”

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