After a period of uncertainty about the future of Android Wear, it seems that it is beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel since the project became Wear OS. Now Google has announced that it will review all apps that are published on Google Play intended for Wear OS.
The objective is to increase the quality of the apps offered in the Google store for this type of devices, making sure that they meet a series of minimum requirements to guarantee that they will work correctly in different types of wearables.
A light revision
Google describes the process as a “light review”, according to the guidelines published on this website. A series of simple checks will be made in terms of functionality and visual design and user interaction .
In terms of functionality, it will be verified that the app has an APK that will be installed directly in the wearable, which works as described in the listing in Google Play and notifications of the messaging apps can be answered via RemoteInput.
In the design and interaction part, it will be verified that the design of the application adapts correctly to square and round screens, without any text or element being cut off. The minimum size of the text should be at least 12sp, animations should be included in the animations when appropriate, and screenshots of the version for Wear OS in Google Play.
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Imminent review for new apps
New applications for Wear OS that will be added to Google Play will begin to be revised from October 1, 2018, while applications updates for Wear OS have much more margin: in this case the deadline is extended until March 4 of 2019.
It is necessary to clarify that these changes only affect that the application is shown in the category of Google Play called Wear OS by Google. If an app has a version for smart watches but does not pass the previous revision, it will be able to continue publishing in Google Play as always, but it will not be shown in this category, in which Google only wants quality apps to appear.