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The Apple Watch OS got a big update this week, but developers still don't care

The new AppleTV and macOS features have them excited, though.

A glance at the Activity app on Apple Watch shows you how much you’ve moved around, how many minutes you’ve exercised and how many times you’ve stood up throughout the day, through a pattern of colored rings. Recode

While Apple got a lot of applause for last week’s improvements to the Apple Watch, it was the rather modest changes to the Apple TV operating system that have developers rushing to update their software.

Development activity for Apple TV apps was more than double that of the prior week, according to mobile database maker Realm.


"It’s true that on the surface the tvOS announcements this year were fairly low key, but the announcement that Apple TV will carry live content from top partners is renewing hopes from developers that Apple TV will be Apple’s next big consumer platform," said Tim Anglade, Realm’s vice president of product. "Single sign-on significantly smooths the app experience and may renew app maker confidence that they can create winning experiences for TV."

By contrast, Realm said it is seeing no immediate increase in developer work for Apple Watch, despite more significant changes to that software than those made for the TV.

"What we are hearing is that while the watch SDK has been drastically improved, it’s barely now reached a 1.0/baseline level so it’s actually far from exciting even in its current form," Anglade said. Plus, he said, "app makers are still not seeing the financial justification necessary to devote development cycles toward Apple Watch apps" given the limited sales of the watch combined with the fact it is hard to make additional money from extending an iPhone app to the watch.

Meanwhile, interest appears to be increasing around the venerable Mac, with a 49 percent rise in developer interest compared to two weeks earlier. "It could be that the Siri features, and closer integration between iOS & macOS is encouraging iOS developers to take another look at the aging platform as it still benefits from a wide install base," Anglade said.

Realm gets its data by looking at the more than 100,000 developers who use its database in their apps, a roster that includes companies like Google, Amazon, Nike, Starbucks, eBay, Alibaba, Intel, Cisco and Walmart.

Realm started collecting anonymized data on which platforms its developers were targeting in order to figure out where it should place its own priorities in terms of features to add, but more recently recognized it can serve as a proxy, more broadly speaking, for what developers are finding interesting.

Apple Watch OS3 demonstrated at WWDC 2016

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