The YouTube Music app was released early this year for Samsung’s new Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic watches, both of which run Wear OS 3. It’s now doing the same thing with earlier Wear OS 2 watches. However, not all watches will receive it right away. It will first be available on a limited number of Android smartwatches, before being rolled out to more devices via the Google Play Store “later this year.”
The first app will be available this week for the Fossil Gen 6 wristwatch (including the Michael Kors Access 6 version), Mobvoi’s TicWatch Pro 3 GPS, TicWatch Pro 3 Cellular/LTE, and TicWatch E3. These watches are all more powerful Snapdragon Wear 4100 units, even if Google doesn’t say so explicitly. It’s probable that the business still needs more time to optimize the app for older Wear OS devices, which typically feature far less powerful hardware.
The YouTube Music app appears to be identical to the one that is currently available for Wear OS 3. Users may expect ad-free music streaming, curated playlists, and the ability to download their own playlists and albums via YouTube’s Smart Downloads feature.
While Google has released a new version of Wear OS, it is unlikely that most users will see it for a long time. A Wear OS 3 exclusivity period could have won Samsung over, after which other Wear OS watchmakers will be free to load the gadget onto their smartphones. This is why, rather than locking its newest features behind a new version upgrade, Google is supporting both old and new Wear OS versions. Aside from YouTube Music, Google recently updated a number of older products, including Gboard, the Google Play app, Google Messages, and Google Pay.
On Wear OS, YouTube Music was very important. While Google Play Music had previously been supported on its watch platform, the service’s demise without a replacement had left a gap in the experience. Despite the fact that Spotify existed, the app did not offer offline playback until recently. Google’s assistance was a little late, but (to use a cliché) better late than never.