The official “Wear OS” app has reached a new milestone of downloads in the Play Store, just as the Pixel Watch and other newer smartwatches make it irrelevant.
Both as a minor marker of an app’s legitimacy and somewhat of a fun high score indicator, the Google Play Store shows the number of times an app has been downloaded on an Android device. Rather than offering the exact number, the Play Store instead displays each app’s download count across milestones such as 1,000, 5,000, and 10,000.
Over the weekend, Google’s official app for Wear OS watches – officially “Wear OS by Google Smartwatch” – reached a new milestone, garnering 50 million downloads since its original release in June 2014. From the original launch until the release of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, every smartwatch that runs on Android Wear or Wear OS had to be upgraded. up with this dedicated companion app.
That all changed with the release of Wear OS 3-based watches, like the Galaxy Watch 4, Montblanc Summit 3, and Google’s. Pixel Watch. Instead, each of these watches requires its own dedicated companion app, a new requirement with Wear OS 3.
The new irrelevance of the Wear OS app makes the timing of this latest milestone of Play Store downloads – just days after the launch of the Pixel Watch – all the more interesting. That said, it’s possible that these Wear OS 3 watches still contribute to the number of downloads in their own way.
Each of the older “Wear OS 2” smartwatches relied on the wearable version of this Wear OS app to provide certain features and updates. For example, when Tiles was first added to the platform, they did so through an update to that same app on Watches. Our APK Insight team noted that the Pixel Watch has its own unique version of this Wear OS app, although we don’t currently know what role it plays.
Still, it’s fun to see the original Android Wear and Wear OS companion app get one last moment in the spotlight before it goes totally irrelevant. Even the most prolific Wear OS watchmaker, Fossil, just started upgrading some of its recent models to Wear OS 3 today, ditching Google’s companion app for one of its own.
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