Looking past the massive redesign of Android 12, the next biggest (and arguably even bigger) announcement was in regards to Wear. Wear OS and Tizen OS are being combined in an effort to take on Apple’s stranglehold on the smartwatch market. We still don’t have new hardware, but we are learning more about what apps and features are coming to Google’s Wear platform.
During the keynote and in the accompanying blog post, Google confirmed that all of the core Google apps will see an overhaul, along with a new app making its way to the platform. The standalone YouTube Music app for Apple’s WatchOS launched around a year ago, but Google’s own wearable platform was left in the dark. It’s been almost a year, and Google seemingly just decided to forget about its own app on its own smartwatches.
This is disappointing enough, but it would appear that Google is trying to make amends. The company confirmed that a dedicated YouTube Music app is arriving on the new Wear platform when it launches later this year. On the downside, it’s unlikely that we’ll see the app arrive on Wear OS before Wear hits smartwatches with new products.
Google stopped short of sharing exactly how robust the new YouTube Music app would be. But the company did share that it would be capable of downloading music directly to your watch for offline listening. You’ll finally be able to download your favorite playlists, leave your phone behind, and go for a run or hit the gym with just some headphones and your smartwatch.
In the same vein, Spotify has confirmed that it will also be releasing a major update to the Wear OS app later this year. The updated app will also allow you to download songs and podcasts for offline listening, which should have already been a feature considering Spotify’s massive userbase.
Nevertheless, we’re getting more and more excited about the future of Google’s wearables. It’s just a shame that we don’t exactly know when we’ll be able to get Wear on our wrists, and whether it will be compatible with existing Wear OS smartwatches like the TicWatch Pro 3.