YouTube Music is finally here for Wear OS 2 watches

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Picture: Google

After a year of waiting, Wear OS 2 users finally get the YouTube Music app. This decision, although late, is part of Google’s strategy continuous efforts to improve Wear OS 2 while waiting for Wear OS 3 to roll out to non-Samsung Galaxy 4 smartwatches.

The application will be deployed on some smartwatches running Wear OS 2. This list includes the new Fossil Gen 6 (and his cousin Michael Kors), the GPS and cellular versions of the GPS Tick Watch Pro 3 from Mobvoi, as well as the TicWatch E3. To download, just go to the Play Store app. If your Wear OS 2 watch iis not included oIn the list, you will have to wait a little longer. Google says the app will roll out to other devices later this year.

Previously, Wear OS had the Play Music app and no other third-party music apps apart from Spotify. But the The Spotify app was straightforward and did nothing but act like a glorified remote control. When Google unplugged on Play Music in favor of YouTube Music last year, Wear OS 2 watches have been left without native music application. Google then released YouTube Music on Apple Watch-but not Wear OS watches.

The new YouTube Music app has a few quirks. According to the Google User Community post, the app allows users to “download songs to your watch and listen to music offline or practice your favorite songs without carrying your phone.” Users have access to their playlists and songs, but as indicated by 9to5 Google, it doesn’t seem like there is a way to stream songs directly, they will have to rely on downloads. The other quirk is that the watch should be on its charger and connected to wifi to start offline downloads of music files. The lack of streaming isn’t ideal, but it’s something that GPS-only smartwatch users are already familiar with. It just asks users to think a little more about when they download playlists.

Wear OS 3 updates will not be rolled out to watches eligible until mid-2022 as soon as possible. It’s not perfect, but it’s much better than having none. Spotify also recently introduced offline downloads for Wear OS 2 users. In any case, moving from near zero options to two viable apps is a big improvement over a year ago. The transition to Wear OS 3 will certainly still have a few hurdles down the road, but so far it’s encouraging to see renewed interest in the Wear OS platform. Android users deserve it.


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Victor L. Jones