Google has, after an extended period, finally rolled out Android Wear 2.0 and all the benefits such as standalone Play Store to supported devices. Now they’re advising developers of a new change that requires them to update their app, or lose the “Enhanced for Android Wear” badge in the Google Play Store.
The change is essentially a technical one, focused on the fact that Google’s multi-APK format in Google Play is now supported by devices running Android Wear 1.0 and 2.0. Google wants any Android Wear app to be available as a microAPK that can be pushed separately to a phone apk. Previously, developers bundled their Android Wear app in a phone app, but with the new standalone Wear Play store this is no longer best practice.
Any app that supports Wear notification enhancements but doesn’t have a separate Wear app, or Android Wear apps that are bundled with the mobile app instead of using multi-APK will be targeted. The punishment isn’t removal from the Play Store it’s simply having their “Enhanced for Android Wear” badge removed, with the cut off date given as January 18, 2018.
Google has resources available to help developers to unbundle the APKs and submit them in the desired format. If you’ve got an Android Wear app on Google Play, it’s time to make sure it’s running the way it should.