Google Releases First Apple Watch App: Google News & Weather
Google's first app comes out quietly; Google Search App support still hasn't come to the Apple Watch.
Google has finally released an app for the Apple Watch, the Google News & Weather app.
Google made no official announcement about this. Rather, it was a quiet update of the existing Google News & Weather app for iOS, which may have been spotted first by ZDnet. It’s hard to say, as multiple sources are now reporting on it.
There’s nothing fancy about the app. In fact, as best I can tell, only the “news” part functions. No weather information is provided on the Apple Watch.
Tapping on the app brings up the the first of several headlines that you can scroll through by swiping. Some headlines have photos, which you can view by scrolling down.
There’s no ability that I can see to read more about any of these stories on your watch. Nor is there any ability to get updates from particular sections of Google News, such as technology or business or any custom sections you may have created, as the full app offers on the phone. It’s only showing the latest headlines. I find it also very slow to load headlines.
If you long press on a headline — a Force Touch — TechCrunch noted that you can save a story to your Safari reading list. Here’s how that looks:
The app also sends notifications, like this:
Tapping on a notification launches the app, which shows little further information than the notification already had displayed.
As of now, Apple has not featured the app alongside others it lists (like Yahoo News) within the “Stay Informed” section of the Apple Watch app, which lists apps for Apple Watch. It’s very difficult to locate actual Apple Watch apps other than browsing what Apple features within the Apple Watch app. Searching often brings up apps without Apple Watch support.
Only Google App For Apple Watch So Far
Google confirmed to Marketing Land that this is the only Apple Watch app it has created, so far. Other Google iOS apps like Gmail do have limited support, in that they’ll send notifications to the watch. For instance, I regularly get told if I have new Gmail messages on my Apple Watch. I can even archive those messages. But without actual Apple Watch support, I can’t do other things like reply to them.
Still Waiting For The Google Search App
The most important app from Google I’m waiting for is the Google Search App to come to the Apple Watch. So far, that hasn’t happened.
Apple Watch support would allow sending search requests to Google. It’s unclear whether Google is delayed on this because Apple won’t allow such support (which would go around Apple’s own Siri) or if Google itself hasn’t made one.
One reason Google might be holding back is because the Google Search App — which contains Google Now predictive information — is perhaps the most killer app for Google’s own Android Wear line of watches.
I haven’t even had the Google Search App send any Google Now notifications to my Apple Watch yet. This might be because on iOS, these seem to happen far less frequently than with Android. I certainly wish that they’d happen more on iOS and, in turn, to the Apple Watch.
Google’s not the only big player to be sluggish when it comes to Apple Watch apps. Facebook, which got plenty of attention during the Apple Watch launch event, says it’s still evaluating whether to to make a Facebook app for Apple Watch.