With the new Wear OS platform inbound, we’re starting to see Google give its wearable OS a bit of love. After all of these years, it’s about freakin’ time. This week, Google is introducing improvements for Google Play, aimed at making the entire app downloading experience much smoother.
On smartphones, Google Play’s search function has received new filters. Users can now add “Watch” or “Watch faces” to narrow a search to relevant apps and watch faces. If you’re simply browsing, you’ll find new curated clusters on the “Wear OS” and “Watch Faces for Wear OS” category pages. If you find an app you like, you can remotely install it to your watch directly from the smartphone’s Google Play app. All you do is tap “Install” to start downloading the app to your Wear OS device. Google notes that compatible devices are pre-selected by default and can be seen by tapping the arrow on the right side of the “Install” button.
Over on your smartwatch, Google Play is getting a whole new look, based on the principles of Material You. As detailed, “The new design simplifies the experience of navigating the small surface area of a watch face. Important information is placed in cards, which makes it comfortable to read and make a selection.”
One highlighted change is for if you need to make an in-app purchase. With the new version, the Play Store will reliably prompt the purchase page to open on your Android phone or for a URL to open in a web browser, making your purchase much more simple.
According to Google, these updates will roll out to Google Play on your Android phone and Wear OS smartwatch in the coming weeks. Exciting times for those who stuck in there with Wear OS!