Google will make a significant modification to Wear OS in less than a month. This will make installing third-party watch programmes outside of the Google Play Store more difficult, bringing the platform closer to the Apple Watch model.
According to Android Police, the planned update would have a greater impact on developers than normal users of the platform. The latter often use the Play Store to install apps on their smartphones. However, without resorting to developer tools, adding unauthorized and unapproved apps will be considerably more difficult.
In an email addressed to the Google developer community, this was revealed. The modifications will take effect on March 10th.
Wear OS will begin to make installing apps more difficult
In essence, Google is moving away from the prior app paradigm, which made it easier for developers to publish their apps. It’s a mechanism that allows wearable apps to be packaged alongside their smartphone counterparts. For example, Wear OS code can be packaged alongside Android apps. The Play Store -> Apps on Your Phone section allows users to transfer software to their wearables via their phones.
Google recently improved this with Android Wear 2.0, which shifted to a standalone app paradigm, similar to the Apple Watch’s App Store. Users can download and install apps from the Play Store while they’re on the move. Software that used the old approach, on the other hand, was difficult to find.
The original app model is now being phased out. Developers and users will have to go through the official channels. Another approach is to use developer-oriented tools like the Android Debug Bridge (ADB).
Google’s motivation, according to the letter, is not to tighten control. Instead, the decision is motivated by a desire to expand the Play Store’s reach to include all apps. Furthermore, the update decreases APK bloat on users’ phones, some of which do not even have a Wear OS watch.
In some ways, you could say that this reaffirms Google’s commitment to the platform. It could possibly have anything to do with the Fitbit deal that closed a few weeks ago. We’ll have to wait and see what happens with the operating system, especially since Fitbit already has one for its smartwatches.