Apple developers aren’t very interested in writing apps for the Watch these days, says Tim Anglade, an app developer and VP for mobile database Realm.
About 100,000 app developers use Realm’s database in apps used by about 1 billion people, Anglade says. This gives Realm a unique vantage point in seeing which devices have captured mobile developers’ interest and which have not.
Watch in 2016? Not so much.
Meanwhile, Apple’s tvOS is doing better. The new Apple TV 4th Generation went on sale in the last quarter of 2015 and with it, Apple launched the first app store for it.
“tvOS is a brand new platform so there’s a gold rush for it,” Anglade says. Developers want to get established with their tvOS grab market share for their apps.
“On a weekly basis we’re seeing very few Watch apps, compared to iOS apps,” he says. “For every 1,000 new iOS apps being built, there are 10 tvOS apps and maybe 1 Watch app.”
There was a bit of a rush to write Watch apps when it first came out, but these days, it’s seen as merely a companion to the iPhone, and many developers aren’t seeing much money in Watch companion apps.
There’s rumblings that Apple will announce a new version of Watch at WWDC, which kicks off June 13. That could change their minds, Anglade believes.
“Apple published a road map, to be able run independent apps, and that’s a big deal,” Anglade says. He’s hearing that connectivity and access to sensors will be solved in the next version of Watch. Developers will be listening for other details, such as how Apple worked out a longer battery life.
Until then, they are far more focused on iPhones, Macs, and tvOS, he says.