YouTube Music rolling out to some Wear OS 2 watches
Ever since Google discontinued its Play Music service, there hasn’t been an official way to listen to music on Wear OS smartwatches. Google finally revealed in May that it was working on a YouTube Music app for the platform, but it was later confirmed that the app would only work on watches running Wear OS 3.0 — of which there is currently only one, the Galaxy Watch 4. Thankfully, Google is now walking back on that bizarre requirement.
“Starting this week,” Google wrote in a support post, “we’re rolling out the new YouTube Music app to select Wear OS 2 devices including the new Gen 6 smartwatches from Fossil and Michael Kors, and Mobvoi’s TicWatch Pro 3 GPS, TicWatch Pro 3 Cellular/LTE, and TicWatch E3 smartwatches so that you can enjoy music anywhere. With YouTube Music, you can download songs to your watch and listen to music offline or workout to your favorite songs without carrying your phone.”
There are some catches, though. Only the above-mentioned watches are supported for now, and Google says it will arrive on “more devices that run the latest version of Wear OS 2 later this year.” It’s not clear what Google’s criteria is for watch support, but all of the currently-listed watches have a Snapdragon Wear 4100 or 4100+ chipset, so older hardware might be left behind. Another support article mentions that music is limited to a bitrate of 128 kbps, so don’t expect the best sound quality.
The news comes after plenty of frustration about the YouTube Music app only being available on one watch, and following several unofficial YouTube Music apps that were created by developers. Here’s hoping the official app reaches most watches soon… and maybe with an option for higher bitrates.