During the launch of Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 5 series last month, Google announced a revamped Play Store for Wear OS smartwatches. The revamp is now rolling out to eligible devices. Redditor trlef19 confirmed that they received the new experience on their Fossil Gen 5 model. The update is also expected to make its way to the Galaxy Watch 5 and Galaxy Watch 4 series.
According to the source, they received this change with Play Store version 31.2.10-26 for their watch. Google added this rollout in the Google System Updates for September, indicating that Play Store version 32.0 or newer should bring the new experience. Perhaps, as 9to5Google, which first reported this rollout, noted, a server-side update will push the change once you update to a supported version from the Play Store.
The changes are significant from the top. The search button now finds a pill-shaped house. It previously resided in a circular button. Below the search button is the ‘Explore all’ section which offers three app suggestions followed by a ‘See more’ button which will allow you to see explore apps for your smartwatch. Suggestions include the app’s name, icon, and Play Store rating.
Next up is the “Recommended for you” section, again with three suggestions and a button to see all the apps recommended for you. “Now Trending” follows this section in an identical layout. Watch Faces, Music Streaming, Essential Watch Apps, and Healthy Mind and Body sections get bigger cards though. These cards will display related apps under the respective cards. The last three buttons are Open in Phone, Manage Apps, and Settings.
The Google Play Store gets a makeover on Wear OS
This redesign of the Play Store on Wear OS results in a long scroll to reach the settings for checking for app updates. While it’s not ideal, Google is apparently going down this path of promoting apps directly to the home screen to increase downloads and engagement. The company is showing renewed interest in its watch platform after the arrival of Samsung last year. These changes will likely boost developer interest in building apps for Wear OS.
When Google announced this redesign, it also said that Wear OS would get offline support for Google Maps. You can use Maps on your smartwatch independently of your phone. This support has not yet been rolled out to the public. But we should have it soon. In the meantime, you might want to check for an update for Play Store to receive the new experience.