What you need to know
- Wear OS smartwatches are getting a redesigned Play Store experience.
- The Android Play Store will soon allow cross-device app installs for Wear OS devices.
- These new Play Store features will be available “in the coming weeks” for current Wear OS smartwatches.
The first is the new cross-device app install feature that the company discussed at its annual Google I/O developer conference. Compatible apps with a Wear OS counterpart will include directly installing the app straight from the phone. This will help relieve users of having to dig into the Wear OS Play Store to find the same app and make the “Apps on your phone” section more or less redundant.
With the new experience, users will be able to select which version of the app they want.
Google says it’s also improving how users discover Wear OS apps on the Play Store with new filters that make them easier to find.
Add “Watch” or “Watch faces” to narrow your search to relevant apps and watch faces. If you’re just browsing, new curated clusters on the “Wear OS” and “Watch Faces for Wear OS” category pages recommend popular apps for a variety of needs.
Additionally, Google has officially announced the new Material You redesign for the Wear OS Play Store. The redesign has been spotted on some Wear OS devices already, surprising users of the best Wear OS watches.
Google says the new design “simplifies the experience of navigating the small surface area of a watch face” by placing items in cards.
The Wear OS Play Store will also improve prompts for in-app purchases that must be completed from your smartphone. The new design closely resembles Google, and Samsung’s Wear OS update expected later this year, although unfortunately, many current Wear OS devices may not receive the update. Fortunately, Google has already made some changes to some Wear OS apps to help fill the void. The new Play Store updates should appear “in the coming weeks” and be available on Wear OS 2. x devices.
The best of Wear OS right now
TicWatch Pro 3 GPS
The Wear OS watch you can buy right now. Thanks to its dual-layer display, large battery, and newer Qualcomm chipset, the Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 GPS remains one of the best Wear OS smartwatches you can buy. Updates from both Google and Mobvoi continue to improve the watch, bringing more features and faster performance.