The beta version for the Android Wear companion app is getting some new changes, and is setting the stage for a new feature that will be made available on Android Wear smartwatches once Android Wear 2.0 hits devices. The feature to come is access to the Play Store from the watch so you can install apps directly to it without having to initiate the install from opening the Play Store up on a smartphone. With the Android Wear companion app it looks like Google is setting it up to allow for opening the Play Store on the watch remotely, meaning you can open the Android Wear app on your phone and tap a button to remotely open the Play Store on the watch.
Having a way to remotely open the Play Store for the smartwatch from a smartphone might seem like an odd move, but it does make a little bit of sense if you consider that a user may already have their phone in hand to install an app. Since Android Wear 2.0 will make it so that apps won't install automatically anymore, the Play Store will have to be opened on the watch for installs. If you're already handling the phone to install a new app and want the app on your watch as well, then having a way to open it remotely could be useful.
Aside from this method for smartwatch Play Store access, the beta Android Wear app is also introducing a new feature that is available in this latest version, which is a way to basically filter out any Bluetooth devices from the pairing screen that aren't Android Wear devices when trying to connect a watch. A new checkbox option on the pairing screen is labeled as "show all devices when pairing" and if unchecked the pairing screen will only pull up Android Wear smartwatches that are within range to be discovered by the smartphone. This is certainly nifty even if it isn't game changing, as it will give you less stuff to read on screen when trying to connect a new Android Wear smartwatch. The app is also gaining an alert that can be presented to users which states that watches may install updates for apps automatically. There's nothing to special about that particular detail, but it is there. If you're using the beta version of the Android Wear companion app and you haven't gotten the most recent update, you can grab it from the button below.