Instagram today became the latest company to ditch the Apple Watch, eliminating its Apple Watch app in an update that was released this morning.
Instagram has swelled the ranks of apps ditching their versions for Apple Watch. In an update announced on Monday, the ephemeral photo-sharing app said the Instagram Apple Watch app was designed using the watchOS 1 SDK, which has now been retired by Apple on April 1. Instagram, according to iPhoneAddict, a French site, does not consider it necessary to rebuild the app.
“The Instagram app for Apple Watch will no longer be available as a stand-alone experience once users upgrade to Instagram version 39 on iOS, released April 2, 2018. We are committed to providing users with the best experience with their Apple products and we will continue to explore ways to achieve this on all platforms. Users with an Apple Watch will continue to enjoy a great Instagram experience through various rich and varied notifications.”
Instagram WatchOS app was one of the first set of apps to support the Apple Watch, and that was three years ago. With it [Instagram for Apple Watch], users could view and like photos on the smartwatch. While the app itself will no longer be available, users will still be able to access Instagram features on Apple Watch through notifications sent to a linked iPhone, Mac Rumors reports.
Other major companies that have pulled the plug on the watchOS app include, Amazon, Twitter, eBay, and Google Maps.
Still on Instagram, the Facebook-owned company appears to be internally testing a video calling feature. When all tests have been successfully completed, the new feature will allow users to initiate video calls within the app. It is like navigating from its original structure and venturing into something different from what we all have come to identify the ephemeral picture sharing app with.
WABetaInfo spotted the video calling feature, and reports that a user will be able to access it once he opens an active chat with another user. What that means is that you will be able to make video call only if the person on the other end has already accepted your request to chat. However, WABetaInfo adds that the icon won’t appear if the person on the other end turns down the request.
You can initiate video call by tapping on the icon. WABetaInfo adds that Instagram has implemented other UI elements for the video call. I suppose we will have to wait a little more to see or start using the new feature until it becomes available on iOS and Android devices.
Instagram recently added a new feature to its Direct feature. Going forward when you send an ephemeral photo or video from Instagram Direct camera, you will have the option of whether the recipient views it once, replays it temporarily or see a permanent thumbnail of it.