The deprecation of the wearable apps for both Apple Watch and Wear OS coincides with version 5.37 of the Nest mobile app, which was released on Tuesday.
Any mention of the Apple Watch app has since been removed from the Nest App Store listing, while Wear OS device users who try to launch the app from their watch are now met with the message "Nest is no longer supported for Wear OS" and are advised to uninstall the app.
Google's reason for the watch app's demise is simple. According to the company (via 9to5Google), "only a small number of people" used the watch apps, therefore Nest will focus on developing its full mobile app and Wear OS-only Google Assistant functions going forward.
We took a look at Nest app users on smart watches and found that only a small number of people were using it. Moving forward our team will spend more time focusing on delivering high quality experiences through mobile apps and voice interactions.Google advises Nest owners that they can no longer adjust their thermostat or change the Home/Away mode from their Apple Watch, but these actions can still be controlled remotely via the Nest mobile app, which can also still deliver notifications to their watch.
The Nest app joins a long line of high-profile Apple Watch apps that have met their demise over the last two years. Beginning in 2017, Twitter, Google Maps, Amazon, and eBay all quietly removed their Apple Watch apps from the App Store, after seemingly concluding their continued development was no longer worth the effort because not enough people were using them.
In a bid to rekindle interest in developing Apple Watch apps, Apple has added an App Store in its upcoming watchOS 6 that can be accessed right on your wrist, allowing apps to be downloaded on the Apple Watch independent of an iPhone.
This means developers won't need to create Apple Watch client extensions as part of their iPhone apps, and can instead create truly standalone versions for Apple Watch, or even create watch apps that don't have iPhone versions at all. Still currently in beta testing, watchOS 6 is due to be released in the fall.