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Google Brings Standalone Apps to Android Wear 1.0 Hardware

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Sep 1, 2017, 6:37 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Google this week updated some of its Play Store policies that will improve the availability of apps for older Android-based smartwatches. Specifically, Google has made multi-APK apps available to Android Wear 1.0 devices. Previously, multi-APK apps were only available to devices running Android Wear 2.0. Multi-APK apps include two downloads, one for the phone and another just for the watch. Android Wear 2.0 hardware can download just the watch app, freeing up space on their smartphone, and now so can Android Wear 1.0 hardware. Older Android smartwatches that have their own network connections will be able to run these standalone apps on their watch without having to install and run the app from their handset. This should eventually leader to a greater variety of more powerful apps available to older Android wearables. Google also plans to make changes in the way Android Wear apps are called out in the Play Store. Beginning in January, apps that support Wear notification enhancements but do not have a separate Wear app, and Wear apps that are bundled with mobile apps instead of using multi-APK, will no longer be eligible to be listed in the top charts in the Play Store for Android Wear. Google hopes this will lead to higher quality and more flexible apps for Android Wear devices.


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