Since its announcement at Google IO 2016, Android Wear 2.0 seems to have fallen out of the limelight. We’ve seen the platform get updates to the developer preview … and then get delayed until early 2017 for its full release. According to the latest information about the platform, it now looks as if Google is abandoning the auto-installation of apps to Wear devices.

As of Wear, 2.0 users will have to go to the Play Store on their watch to install apps, yes I said on the watch. This has several implications. Firstly App developers will need to specifically package their Wear apps separately instead of bundling them with the main APK. It also means users will have to manually go and seek out apps to install Wear companions.

To be honest, that sounds horridly awful, let’s hope that there is some sort of simple and intuitive interface to automatically find and install the companion apps for what you have installed on your phone. Of course with a rumoured LTE Android Wear device from Google apparently in the works, perhaps some Wear devices will no longer be “companions” to phones?

It is still early days, and Google claimed in comments on Google that these changes were based on user studies, so perhaps this is what everyone wants?  There could be some advantages, perhaps there is an app you would want on your watch that you don’t necessarily want to have the corresponding phone app installed, or vice versa.

Here is hoping that this does not put too much additional workload onto developers; it would be a shame for the Wear app ecosystem to contract as a result. Perhaps this could also open up the ability for app developers to monetise their Wear apps? Afterall companion apps just don’t code themselves, perhaps it’s reasonable to have to pay for those functions?

We are apparently about 4 weeks away from another developer preview update, at which time we may well get more information on this and other aspects of how Android Wear 2.0 will function.

What do you think of having to install Wear apps from a watch version of the Play Store?

Source: 9to5Google.
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Phill Edwards

The more news that comes out about Android Wear, the more reviews about Android Wear watches, the more I look forward to getting a Samsung Gear 3 running Tizen.


I actually prefer this, don’t need most of the companion apps that get automatically installed.
I suspect they may allow for the Google Play entry to directly link to companion apps.

Dennis Bareis

Yes they use up a lot of memory if you don’t need them


This sounds awful. Hopefully when an app has a watch part to it the store on your phone will prompt to install it on the watch too. I’d been holding out upgrading my LG G Watch until Wear 2 was out but if it’s going to be harder to use with few apps I might just stick with what I have.


Android Wear is dead to me.

Max Luong

I’d imagine that you’d install apps via the Play Store on your PC’s browser. Using a watch to install apps would be horrid.

Phillip Molly Malone

Without having to have used it, I love the idea. The idea of it being able to be standalone is so good for the platform. Im hanging out for the Google Watches and how good would it be if they worked just as well tethered to an iPhone as they do tethered to an Android Phone or standalone completely.

Also hoping part of the delay was them adding in support for NFC!



NFC integration would be a dream come true, amusing it actually was used for Android Pay


Installed this a week back and reverted to 1.5 as there is no google fit integration.
Too late to write a article…lol