Slack Nixes its Standalone Apple Watch App

Over the course of the last few months, several companies have decided to end development on apps for the Apple Watch, focusing instead on Apple's iOS platform. The latest company to nix its Apple Watch app is Slack. If you're unfamiliar with Slack, it's a team communication and collaboration platform for businesses.

In an update to its iOS app today, Slack eliminated its standalone Apple Watch app. Slack customers will, however, still be able to respond to incoming messages on their Apple Watch thanks to rich notifications.

Apple Watch users, there's now one iOS app for all of your needs. We've removed the standalone Watch App, but rest assured, receiving and replying to messages from your wrist works the same as before. It's like two for the price of one, but with apps.
Slack's Apple Watch app, like many of the Apple Watch apps that have been abandoned, was never particularly useful, so it's no surprise Slack has decided not to dedicate additional resources to it. The Slack Apple Watch app let users view unread mentions and view and respond to direct messages, but these features were not easy to use on a wrist-worn device. It also let users receive and interact with notifications, features that are still available through an iPhone.

When the Apple Watch was released, most companies developed an Apple Watch app for the device even if the app didn't do anything useful, because it wasn't yet clear how and when people would use apps on the wrist. As the Apple Watch has matured, though, it's become clear that most dedicated apps offering anything beyond a quick interaction aren't used often enough to be a worthwhile use of company resources.

For example, Twitter in September ended support for the Apple Watch, eliminating the standalone Twitter app on the device. At the time, Twitter said that it felt notifications were the most helpful part of the Apple Watch Twitter experience, which is also what Slack is now relying on.

Other companies that have stopped offering Apple Watch apps include Target, eBay, Whole Foods, Amazon, and Google (for Google Maps). eBay and Google have both said Apple Watch support might return in the future, but have not yet released new apps.

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Domino’s Announces Slack Bot to Help Build Your Lunch Order With Coworkers

Pizza chain Domino's today announced integration with work-based chat platform Slack, introducing the ability for coworkers to talk about and order lunch all directly within Slack. After visiting the Slack App Directory, and installing the Domino's ordering app into a workspace, team members can begin discussing what they want to order from Domino's in a Slack channel.

When the decision is made, members can call up Dom, the Domino's Slack bot, and specify crusts, toppings, sizes, and more. When the team is waiting for their food, a Domino's tracker will show what stages the pizza is in, from prep to delivery.
Domino's knows that getting everyone in the office together to figure out the lunch order can be frustrating, so the recognized world leader in pizza delivery and digital ordering platforms is here to make it a little easier, thanks to the enterprise software platform Slack. Starting today, ordering a pizza lunch for that work meeting is as simple as having a quick group chat.

"Collaboration on a big project can now carry over to collaborating on a team lunch order," said Dennis Maloney, Domino's senior vice president and chief digital officer. "We love to make ordering as easy and convenient as possible, and that includes ordering for the workplace. Now you can organize a group lunch with your coworkers down the hall, all from the comfort of your cubicle."
Domino's has previously integrated with technology platforms, this past May announcing support for automation platform IFTTT and multiple connected smart home products. With this integration, Philips Hue bulbs can change colors when your Domino's order hits different stages, like lighting up blue when the pizza begins cooking at the restaurant.

IFTTT even allows support for turning off the Rachio Smart Sprinkler system when an order is out for delivery (to prevent potential mishaps for the delivery person), and activating the Samsung POWERbot vacuum when the order is being prepped (to clean up for guests).

In regards to the Slack integration, Domino's says it's the "first national pizza chain to offer group ordering on the platform." If your Slack team wants to try out Domino's order and delivery, download the app from the Slack App Directory here.

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Slack Chat Platform Finally Gets Custom Status Message Feature

Team chat platform Slack got a long-awaited feature on Thursday with the addition of status updates, finally allowing users to customize their status message beyond the default "away" setting.

The new "set a status" feature includes five Suggested statuses including In a meeting, Commuting, Out sick, Vacationing, and Working remotely, as well as an input field for typing a custom message – allowing users to display a return time if they're away, for example.

Each status can be up to 100 characters and users can display an associated emoji to communicate their circumstances, but if an emoji isn't chosen a speech ballon is shown instead. The emoji appears alongside the username in the chat window, the sidebar, and the chat room members list, while hovering over the emoji or tapping it brings up the full status message.

Some third-party apps can also modify the status message. For example, Zenefits syncs user status with its Time Off Tracking system, while Meekan shows when someone's in a meeting (and when they'll be free). Statuses also automatically update when a user is on a voice or video call in Slack.

Statuses can be set from the browser, desktop and mobile versions of Slack. Mac users can click their name in the upper left corner of the sidebar, then select Set a status. On iOS, users should tap the More items icon (…), or edit their status directly from their profile.

Slack is a free download for Mac on the Mac App Store and available for iPhone and iPad on the App Store.

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