Google is making the app developers responsible: the search engine provider wants to use stricter guidelines to ensure high-quality apps for Android smartwatches. If there is an innovation, however, there are doubts as to its usefulness.
After years of stagnation, something is happening again in the world of Android smartwatches. Wear OS 3, which was jointly developed by Google and Samsung, has breathed new life into the almost dead platform. So that the new beginning is also visible in the Play Store, Google has now revised the guidelines for Wear OS apps.
Android smartwatches: Google publishes stricter guidelines for Wear OS apps
In the future, there will be three different levels of apps for Android smartwatches : basic, better, best . (Source: Android Developers via Android Central). The first category includes apps that support basic Wear OS functions, but do not include a standalone smartwatch app. Messenger apps such as WhatsApp are an example, which make it possible to reply to incoming messages directly via the watch.
One level above there are apps that run natively on the watch and support round and square displays, for example, and can be found using a separate search in the Play Store. Wear OS apps, which also work without a connection to the smartphone and support login and authentication, belong to the king category and are one step higher.
In the video : What you need to know before buying a smartwatch.
Wear OS apps only without text and device mockup
In addition to the new guidelines, which will come into force on October 15, Google has also taken on the look of the Play Store. For example, app developers are required to no longer insert screenshots of their applications in device mockups and to omit text that does not belong to the app's interface.
The benefit of this innovation is not obvious at first glance . On the contrary: Since only very few users actually read the app description, the text in the screenshots helps to present the functionality of the app briefly and crisply. The ban on device mockups is also questionable, after all, users get a realistic idea of what an app could look like on their smartwatch.