With Android Wear 2.0, Google set out to make its wearables more capable and independent of achieving tasks without having to use the paired phone. One method to attain this was through an on-watch Play Store that lets you directly search for and install apps..
However, Google enabled developers to keep utilizing the initial technique where phone app downloads consisted of a watch version that would then be moved to the wearable. Today, this legacy embedded app model has “restricted discoverability” on the Wear OS Play Store.
In the early days of Googles wearable platform, smartwatch apps were bundled with their phone counterparts. Android Wear 2.0 relocated to a standalone app model as part of introducing the on-device Play Store. Google now plans to deprecate that tradition approach to Wear OS apps next month.
Designer Malcolm Bryant initially raised this concern today (by means of Android Police) and kept in mind how its “going to get harder to install several of my utility apps.”.
This suggests that for users to install WearOS apps from outside the Play Store, they will have to go through hoops such as utilizing ADB over wifi. Most non-technical users will not trouble.
Google recommends developers to change to the multi-APK design, while repeating its “continuous commitment and financial investment in additional growth of the Wear OS platform” from the day that Made by Google revealed it was obtaining Fitbit.
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Google is abandoning this technique on March 10th when those legacy Wear OS apps will no longer appear in the “Apps on your phone” section– as seen in the cover image above. In being successfully undiscoverable, end users wont be able to set up those applications on the watch, which holds true for particular sideloaded tools.
Such apps do disappoint up in search, can not be featured in app clusters throughout the shop, and can just be installed through the “Apps on your phone” area of the on-watch Play Store. Furthermore, utilizing the legacy embedded model includes extreme bloat to the APK that is downloaded onto a users phone, whether they own a smartwatch.
In the early days of Googles wearable platform, smartwatch apps were bundled with their phone equivalents. Android Wear 2.0 moved to a standalone app model as part of introducing the on-device Play Store. Google now prepares to deprecate that legacy technique to Wear OS apps next month.