Uber has discontinued its Apple Watch app, telling users to switch to its mobile app instead. No more hailing an Uber ride from your wrist.
- Uber is no longer supporting its official Apple Watch app
- The app was available since Apple Watch launched
- Uber rival Lyft killed its Apple Watch app in 2018
Has Uber discontinued its Apple Watch app?
“Please switch to the User mobile app,” reads a grammatically incorrect message that greets the user when they open Uber for Apple Watch. “We no longer supporting the Apple Watch app. Sorry for the inconvenience,” it continues.
It appears the app has been unavailable to download since around December 8. Moreover, Uber for Apple Watch is also currently available to download from Apple’s App Store, but this is probably due to server changes taking some time to propagate.
Curiously, Uber has not removed the Uber Apple Watch app from the App Store. The app is still able to be downloaded and installed on an Apple Watch, but opening it up reveals a poorly-worded message about dropped support, ending with a sad face emoji.
At the time of writing, Uber didn’t update its support site to reflect the change.
Why are some developers discontinuing Apple Watch apps?
Uber is just the latest major developer to drop support for Apple’s smartwatch.
In the past several years, major apps have stopped supporting Apple Watch with native apps. Some of the popular apps that used to be available on the wrist-worn device but now only offer support for notifications include eBay, Amazon, Lyft, Uber, Twitter and Instagram. Read: What’s the Dock on my Apple Watch? How does it work?
In most of the cases, developers said they saw little activity from their watchOS apps. Many app makers simply couldn’t afford to support Apple Watch while others have failed to optimize their apps properly for wrist computing. Limited functionality could be the reason for the removal of Uber for Apple Watch—the watchOS app never supported Uber features such as uberPOOL, ETA sharing or contacting a driver.
But there are also cases when a developer has pulled their Apple Watch app because it was either outdated or used old APIs that Apple would soon stop supporting.
One such case is the Google Maps app, which was unavailable on the wearable device for a period until Google rewrote it from scratch to run natively on the watch.