If you’re a Wear OS developer or just a regular WearOS-powered smartwatch user, take note of some major changes that will take place. Google hasn’t made a big announcement, but side-loading third-party apps that aren’t officially on the Play Store can be harder than ever. A letter was sent to Wear OS developers saying things will be more complicated starting March 10. This means that adding unofficial and unapproved portable apps won’t be as easy as before.
Using or adding a new app is usually easy. You just need to launch the Play Store on your device (smartphone or smart watch). In the near future, you may need to use special tools such as those used by developers. Apparently, Google is changing the old application model that allowed developers to distribute applications easily. This move removes the distribution method and will later make the smartphone apps smaller.
The legacy application model has been useful for those who want to easily distribute their applications to portable devices. Unfortunately that will change and many developers will be affected according to our source. And if you use those kinds of apps, you may need to use and activate some development tools like Android Debug Bridge (ADB).
Use operating system security enhancements
Google seems to take improving security and privacy, as well as controlling apps and devices, very seriously. Downloading apps on Android devices used to be easier, but with Android 11 it’s almost impossible. Even using and getting Android apps on Chrome OS has become more difficult than ever.
This change will restrict Android apps that used to run easily on Wear OS wearable devices. That’s correct as Google has always wanted to separate Wear OS apps from Android mobile apps. But we still find it interesting that Google’s Wear OS adds support for third-party Tiles.