Report: Android Wear 2.0 will require you to install watch apps seperately

Google is trying to make the watch less dependent on the phone, but it could mean an extra step when you grab a new app.

Android Wear 2.0 has been kicked back to 2017, but we’re already starting to hear buzz about how the experience will change for you.

It looks like the way you install apps is going to see a major change. According to a lengthy Android Wear Developers thread on Google+, Android Wear 2.0 will not only support, but require standalone watch and phone apps.

Developer Advocate Ian Lake makes the difference pretty clear:

“A Wear 2.0 user must visit the Play Store on their watch to install apps. There is no auto-install like on Wear 1.X. Wear 2.0 apps get full network access and can be installed completely separately from the handheld app so the focus is much more on standalone Wear apps than the handheld centric 1.X Wear apps,” he said.

This led to a lot of back and forth discussion as to whether this would or wouldn’t be a user-friendly change. Lake said a lot of usability studies found that many didn’t like the Wear app being auto-installed. However, he did note that they’ll still be at the top of the list on the watch so it’ll be easier to go and grab the Watch version. Additionally, you’ll be able to do so directly from the Play Store on the web.

Lake did say other specifics about how this all will work could change, particularly when Dev Preview 4 launches soon.

“I know there’s more we’re going to be talking about around how the Wear Play Store works and how that affects companion style and standalone Wear apps around Dev Preview 4, where some of the remaining PlayStoreAvailability APis are added,” he said.

In general the idea is to make the watch less dependent on the phone, which would also free developers to build watch-only apps that won’t require a version for an Android phone. There’s still a lot to be worked out, so it’s a discussion worth following.

Why this matters: Android Wear 2.0 has a lot of potential in how it can be a more useful part of the Android experience. It’s also worth noting that some of Google’s focus is that the more Android Wear is independent, the better it can work with those who have an iPhone. You just may need to learn a new habit when it comes to picking out apps and installing them.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags GoogleAndroid Wear

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Derek Walter

Unknown Publication
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?