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Google deprecating legacy Wear OS app model, reiterates platform commitment – 9to5Google

Within the early days of Google’s wearable platform, smartwatch apps had been bundled with their cellphone counterparts. Android Put on 2.Zero moved to a standalone app mannequin as a part of introducing the on-device Play Retailer. Google now plans to deprecate that legacy method to Put on OS apps subsequent month.

With Android Put on 2.0, Google got down to make its wearables extra impartial and able to conducting duties with out having to make use of the paired cellphone. One technique to obtain this was by means of an on-watch Play Store that allows you to instantly browse for and set up apps. 

Nevertheless, Google allowed builders to maintain utilizing the unique methodology the place cellphone app downloads included a watch model that may then be transferred to the wearable. Immediately, this legacy embedded app mannequin has “restricted discoverability” on the Put on OS Play Retailer.

Such apps don’t present up in search, can’t be featured in app clusters throughout the shop, and may solely be put in through the “Apps in your cellphone” part of the on-watch Play Retailer. Moreover, utilizing the legacy embedded mannequin provides extreme bloat to the APK that’s downloaded onto a consumer’s cellphone, whether or not or not they personal a smartwatch.

Google is abandoning this method on March 10th when these legacy Put on OS apps will not seem within the “Apps in your cellphone” part — as seen within the cowl picture above. In being successfully undiscoverable, finish customers gained’t be capable of set up these purposes on the watch, which is the case for sure sideloaded instruments.

Developer Malcolm Bryant first raised this issue right now (through Android Police) and famous the way it’s “going to get tougher to put in a number of of my utility apps.”

Because of this for customers to put in WearOS apps from outdoors the Play Retailer, they should undergo hoops equivalent to utilizing ADB over wifi. Most non-technical customers gained’t trouble.

Google advises builders to change to the multi-APK model, whereas reiterating its “ongoing dedication and funding in additional development of the Put on OS platform” from the day that Made by Google introduced it was buying Fitbit.

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