Google is making it easier to find and install apps to your Wear OS watch
Google announced a much-needed revamp to Wear OS yesterday — the biggest update in years, in fact — during its I/O 2021 developer conference. The new version includes a new design language focused on customization dubbed “Material You;” a collaboration with Samsung; and a host of new features for third-party apps such as the ability to sync Spotify playlists to the watch for phone-free listening.
At the same time, Google also elaborated on more features to improve the app experience of Wear OS, including the ability to download smartwatch apps directly from the mobile Play Store. This is much handier than downloading apps directly from the Play Store on the watch, which often required navigating through a tiny screen, or downloading via the web Play Store. Soon users can install apps from the same Play Store interface they’re familiar with already.
According to Google, these changes are part of the company’s broader efforts to improve Wear OS app discovery and distribution. Users will also be able to use the search bar in the Play Store to easily find new apps for Wear and look through the Wear category for new app recommendations.
These Play Store changes, the major overhaul to Wear OS, and the partnership with Samsung all signify a new effort by Google to make Android wearables not just an afterthought but potentially a legit competitor to the Apple Watch.