Back in October, just weeks before Google killed Google Play Music for all other users, the company announced the launch of a cute new YouTube Music app for smartwatches. Unfortunately, the watches receiving the new app did not work with Android and were instead an Apple Watch. As for Wear OS, well, Google could only tell us to “follow”
Less than two months later, Google discontinued Google Play Music, but Wear OS users had yet to hear anything about YouTube Music to save the day on the music front. We’ve been living without Google Play Music for 4 months now (and even longer for the Wear OS app) and yes, the same is true – there is no YouTube Music app for Wear OS.
You may be wondering why this is such a big deal. On the one hand, the standalone YouTube Music app will give Wear OS users access to their music collections from their wrists, allow them to control playback, and possibly add Casting controls. At least the Apple Watch version can do that.
For Wear OS users today, the only option to control ringtones is through system media controls that allow you to control pause / playback of sound or skip songs. But that’s pretty limited functionality there. Again, the Apple Watch app gives you access to the Casting library and controls without having to remove your phone at all.
We still think Google is creating a YouTube Music app for Wear OS because they didn’t say they didn’t. They told us in August last year that there were plans for YouTube Music and wearables, although they didn’t specifically say an app was coming. In October, however, this “follow” message is a reference to the fact that we’re looking for “additional updates to the availability of YouTube Music on Wear OS.” That sounds like an app, right?
Anyway, it’s April and YouTube Music replaced Google Play Music months and months and months without a proper app to replace Google’s wearable operating system. This is bad.
- UPDATE: A YouTube spokesperson tells us that they are “actively working to implement a stable YouTube Music experience in Wear OS” and that “they will share more information as soon as possible.”