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Here's how to get new apps for your Wear OS smartwatch

AndroidPIT Skagen fossil group smartwatch 7925
© nextpit by Irina Efremova

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Smartwatches with Wear OS (formerly known as Android Wear) are able to change their look and even expand their functionality just by getting new apps. Here's our guide for how to find, download, and install Wear OS apps.

All recent smartwatches using Google's operating system, Wear OS, have direct access to the Play Store. However, this is not the only way to find and install new apps or new watch faces on your smartwatch! You can do it from your smartphone or from your smartwatch.

How do I install new Wear OS apps from my smartphone?

This is perhaps the easiest way to install new apps or watch faces on your Wear OS smartwatch. This is because, from your smartphone, you'll be able to take a look at the app before even downloading it and you'll be able to try it on your phone to be sure it's useful or interesting for you, before resorting to fiddling with the tiny watch screen.

How to download Wear OS apps from your smartphone:

  • Open the Google Play Store from your smartphone
  • Tap on the Categories section
  • Scroll until you find Wear OS by Google
  • Download and install the app(s) you choose

Once this is done, a new notification will be waiting for you on your watch, which will guide you through the installation process for the app on your smartwatch.

Play store wear os apps
Wear OS apps can also be found from the Play Store on smartphones. / © NextPit

How do I install new Wear OS apps from my smartwatch?

Since the arrival of Android Wear 2.0, later renamed Wear OS, watches using the Made by Google operating system have been able to access the Play Store directly without necessarily having to touch the smartphone the watch is connected to.

How to download Wear OS apps from your smartwatch:

  • Open the list of installed apps (usually done by pressing one of the physical buttons on the watch)
  • Open the Google Play Store
  • Browse the list of available apps and choose which ones to install

However, it's not very practical to flip through the apps directly from your wrist. That's why my advice is to use your smartphone as a medium for installing apps and watch faces so you can see the preview images on the Play Store more easily.

Wear os install apps play store
The Play Store, as seen from a smartwatch. / © NextPit

Did you find this guide helpful? Do you have any interesting apps or watch faces to recommend? Let us know in the comments.

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  • 11
    Chris Laarman May 17, 2019 Link to comment

    I'd recommend the WatchMaker app and its Premium unlock key, both for the plethora of faces provided and the possibility to create your own (which I haven't done yet). Note: WatchMaker also exists for iOS/watchOS, but it is nowhere near the Android/Wear OS one. - To me, "watch faces" is a field where Wear OS is way ahead of watchOS, as here "Getting Things Done" (a rough description of Apple's approach of life; matter of opinion) means " getting the information that YOU say you need at short hand (pun intended). - Actually, my anticipated use of a watch face "dictates" if I shall wear a Wear OS watch and an Android smartphone or an Apple Watch and an iPhone. (I use two of each, originally a larger and a smaller.)

  • Jim Thibodeau 1
    Jim Thibodeau May 15, 2019 Link to comment

    With big clumsy hands I prefer using a Windows PC. I find the watch face I want and it loads directly to the watch. Easy.