Google has just announced that standalone apps will work on Android Wear 1.0 as well. As some of you probably already know, standalone apps work on Android Wear 2.0, but very few people expected that Google will enable such functionality for the first iteration of its wearable OS, well, that has just happened, though it is not effective immediately, more on that later. In addition to that, the Google Play Store policy will change in order to promote the use of multi-APKs and along with that, standalone applications. Google also wanted to make clear that this includes apps that are designed to run on watches, which includes watch faces as well.
Google says that this policy change will be effective starting on January 18 next year. Now, on that day the following apps will lose its ‘Enhanced for Android Wear’ status and will not be listed in the top charts in the Play Store for Android Wear: Android Wear applications that are bundled with mobile apps, instead of using multi-APKs, and mobile apps that support Wear notification enhancements, but don’t have a separate application for the Android Wear platform. Now, providing a separate APK for Android Wear platform should not be a problem for developers, as it seems pretty straightforward. All they have to do, is unbundle the Wear APK and upload it separately to the Play Store, as a multi-APK. By doing this, such APKs won’t lose the ‘Enhanced for Android Wear’ badge, and will appear in the top charts that we’ve mentioned earlier.
Now, in its announcement, Google also mentioned that it periodically curates featured collections, and in order to be featured in such collections, developers will have to do the same thing, upload a separate Wear APK, in order to offer a standalone app for Android Wear users. It’s also worth noting that such apps will need to work with both Android and iOS platforms, as Android Wear, as a whole, is compatible with both platforms. Now, for those of you who would like to know more about how to get this done, in case you’re a developer, follow the source link down below, though as already mentioned, the procedure seems to be quite straightforward.