- Matt Cardy/Stringer/Getty Images
Apple developers aren’t very interested in writing apps for the company’s Apple Watch these days, says Tim Anglade, an app developer who is vice president for the 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.
Apple’s tvOS is doing better. The Apple TV 4th Generation went on sale in the last quarter of 2015 and was the first in its line to include Apple’s App Store.
“tvOS is a brand new platform, so there’s a gold rush for it,” Anglade says. Developers want to get established on tvOS to 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 one Watch app.”
There was a bit of a rush to write Watch apps when the device 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 are rumblings that Apple will announce a new version of Watch at WWDC, the conference that kicks off June 13. That could change their minds, Anglade says.
“Apple published a road map to be able run independent apps, and that’s a big deal,” Anglade says. He is 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, he says, they are far more focused on iPhones, Macs, and tvOS.