YouTube Music for Wear OS is finally here, but only for Galaxy Watch 4 series
Samsung recently unveiled the Galaxy Watch 4 series that runs the new unified Wear OS platform. Being a Wear OS smartwatch, the Galaxy Watch 4 series comes preloaded with the Google Play Store and all the usual Google apps such as Google Pay, Google Maps, Messages, and so on. However, as many reviewers were quick to point out on the launch day, the watches were missing some key functionalities, most notably the YouTube Music app. But that’s finally being addressed.
Google has finally released the YouTube Music app (via The Verge) for Wear OS. While this is great news for those planning to pick up Samsung’s brand new smartwatch, which goes on sale tomorrow, it doesn’t change much for those who have older Wear OS watches. That’s because the new YouTube Music app for Wear OS is currently only compatible with the Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic, as noted on this support page.
YouTube Music currently only works on watches with Wear OS powered by Samsung. All playback from YouTube Music should be 128 kbps bitrate AAC.
Google hasn’t confirmed whether it plans to bring the app to older Wear OS smartwatches down the road or if the app will remain exclusive to smartwatches running Wear OS 3. For what’s it worth, current Wear OS users shouldn’t be missing out on much as YouTube Music for Wear OS is extremely limited in terms of functionality in its current state.
As 9to5Google noted in their hands-on, the YouTube Music app for Wear OS doesn’t support streaming at all. If you want to listen to your tracks on the go, you’ll need to first download them on your watch. As if that’s not annoying enough, you can only download songs while the smartwatch is plugged into a charger.
So while it’s good to see Google finally releasing a YouTube Music app for Wear OS, you’d be better off using apps like Spotify, which not only support streaming but, more importantly, work on older Wear OS watches.