Google announced a set of feature updates to their wearable platform Wear OS this week, starting with YouTube Music for some Wear OS 2 devices. This newest update expands the feature abilities of Google’s main music service beyond the few devices in the world running Wear OS 3. Now, even if you own one of the first list of Wear OS 2 devices (as shown below) you’ll be able to listen to music offline, without a phone – so long as you’re a premium subscriber.
If you’re using a Gen 6 smartwatch from Fossil or Michael Kors, TicWatch E3, TicWatch Pro 3 (Cellular/LTE), or TicWatch Pro 3 GPS, you’ll be able to use the new YouTube Music app starting this week. Users can download songs to their smartwatch with YouTube Music (with this new version of the app) and listen to tunes from the watch without assistance from a smartphone.
YouTube Music Premium subscribers will have features never before available to smartwatches (on this platform) starting this week. Per Google, “This standalone app is the first smartwatch app from YouTube Music that allows YouTube Music Premium subscribers to download music for ad-free offline listening, even without your phone nearby.”
If you have a Wear OS 2 device that is not made by Mobvoi, Fossil, or Michael Kors, you’ll have to wait a bit longer to get these new features for YouTube Music. Google says the new version of YouTube Music will be available to “more devices that run the latest version of Wear OS 2” later this year.
Google is in an odd position, here, with mobile wearable devices, services, and both distribution and adoption of their mobile operating systems. It’s a good move, making sure the key “cool” features of the service are available to as many devices as possible. It’s a bummer that it’s the developers of the app that must push their features back to an older version of an OS, rather than the developers of the OS that push the devices forward to the new OS.
In any case, take a peek at your Google Play app store app and check that your YouTube Music app is fully updated. It’s entirely possible you’ll have the latest features for your Wear OS 2 device soon!