Google will start reviewing every Wear OS app on the Play Store to improve quality
The whole smartwatch scene has had its ups and its downs since it was first introduced to the world. Many would say the Pebble smartwatch kicked off the trend but since then it has been followed up by Apple, Google, and others. The success of the smartwatches from each of these companies has varied. Fitbit acquired Pebble because it just wasn’t making the profit it needed to stay in business. Wear OS, formally known as Android Wear, has also had its ups and downs, and Google is attempting to fix some of those downs. The company has just announced they will be performing mandatory reviews of Wear OS apps to be listed in the Wear OS section of the Play Store.
It’s common for Google to start projects and abandon them before they have a chance to take off. Android Wear was something that had a ton of buzz around it when it first launched and to this day there are some die-hard smartwatch enthusiasts that love what Google has done. Instead of giving up on Android Wear though, they rebranded it so that the term Android wasn’t included. This was likely due in an attempt to lure more iOS customers to using these smartwatches since they work with iPhones as well.
In another attempt to improve the brand satisfaction of the platform, Google has just announced a mandatory review process for Wear OS applications that are to be listed in the Wear OS section of the Play Store. The company says a version of this review process has been in place since the launch of Android Wear 2.0, but it was merely optional at that time. Newly submitted Wear OS applications will go through this mandatory review process as of October 1st of this year. They will be giving existing Wear OS applications until March 4th of next year though.
The company mentions that this will be a lightweight app review process and its goal is to improve the quality of the Wear OS applications across the wide range of devices. Those who are interested can find a full list of what will be checked here, but the two most common things Google will be checking for is plenty of support for different screen types while also requiring the developer to have at least one Wear OS by Google screenshot
Source: Android Developers Blog