Google unveiled new app quality guidelines for Wear OS 3 developers ahead of the platform’s wider rollout. Google wants developers to brush up on these guidelines and update their Wear OS 3 apps accordingly.
The guidelines begin with “Basic compatibility” pertaining to notifications. This talks of enabling support for “MessagingStyle notifications” for direct replies and conversations.
The second set of guidelines is known as “Better: Full support for Wear OS”. Here, Google asks developers to ensure their apps are compatible with square or round display shapes for Wear OS 3.
Google also recommends making text large and “glanceable” under the Layout section, while asking devs to test their apps on emulators like Wear OS Square 1.65” and Wear OS Round 1.84”.
Wear OS 3 app developers have until October 3 to adjust their apps to the new guidelines
Under the Functionality section, Google wants to mandate having a watch APK that can run directly on the device. Further, developers shall make their apps discoverable on the Wear OS Play Store accompanied by screenshots. Google then asks developers to mention Wear OS in the app’s Play Store listing.
The last part of the guidelines, known as “Best: A differentiated experience,” talks about a Wear OS app that is independent of the phone and can manage processes like authentication and sign-in on its own.
Google says that developers have until October 3 to adhere to these new quality guidelines. Wear OS watch faces also have until then to adjust to the new screenshot and listing rules. To ensure everything is in order, Google asks developers to test their apps on Wear OS 3 watches in advance.
The newest iteration of Wear OS 3 made its debut last month with the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4. The wearable runs on Wear OS 3 but with Samsung’s One UI interface on top, dubbed One UI Watch. This is part of the unified platform revealed at Google I/O earlier this year, merging Google’s stock Wear OS with Samsung’s reimagined One UI.