Applications Won't Automatically Install On Android Wear 2.0

Usually, when you sync up a new Android Wear watch or install a new Wear App from the Play Store on your phone, the watch will automatically install the appropriate apps. While this is quite convenient for quickly setting up a new watch or throwing a new app on it quickly, it means that users will have to keep apps on their phone that they may only use on their watch, and vice versa. This lack of control over the app ecosystem and syncing between a smartphone and a smartwatch may annoy some users, which is why Google is deciding to get rid of it. From Android Wear 2.0 onward, Android Wear users will find that the app ecosystems of their watch and phone now exist independently of one another.

The find comes courtesy of a conversation between an Android Wear developer and a developer advocate on the official Android Wear Developers Google+ community. In the thread, the developer is told that users will, from Wear 2.0 onward, have to visit the Play Store on their watch and install a standalone app to get it on their watch, whether they have the companion app on their phone already. Naturally, this approach mitigates the old complaint of redundant apps and a lack of app control between devices, while simultaneously introducing some new inconveniences of its own; now, developers will need to make two different apps in order to support Android Wear apps that link to an Android device, and users will have to install both the watch app and the companion phone app in order to make use of functions like notifications or device control.

Though the developer preview of Android Wear 2.0 still allows full sync between a watch and phone as it has been since Android Wear began, the word is that this change will indeed find its way into the final version of Android Wear 2.0. Group moderator Ian Lake took the floor to provide a glimpse into the logic behind the decision, saying that studies had shown that the negative user reaction to having to hand over control of your watch's app ecosystem outweigh the positive reactions, and this new approach will free up developers who want to simply create an Android Wear app without messing about with an Android shell or companion app for it.

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Daniel Fuller

Senior Staff Writer
Daniel has been writing for Android Headlines since 2015, and is one of the site's Senior Staff Writers. He's been living the Android life since 2010, and has been interested in technology of all sorts since childhood. His personal, educational and professional backgrounds in computer science, gaming, literature, and music leave him uniquely equipped to handle a wide range of news topics for the site. These include the likes of machine learning, voice assistants, AI technology development, and hot gaming news in the Android world. Contact him at [email protected]
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