The YouTube Music app on Wear OS arrives with basic and messy functionality
Google has released YouTube Music for Wear OS, 10 months after the service arrived on the Apple Watch. Only smartwatches running Wear OS 3 are eligible to download YouTube Music, which currently excludes every Wear OS device bar the Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic. Inexplicably, non-Samsung smartwatches are due to receive Wear OS 3 in about a year's time.
On the face of it, YouTube Music on Wear OS is a richer experience than it is on an Apple Watch. For one, Google has included offline playback, a feature mirrored in the Spotify app. Unfortunately, that is where the advantages end for Wear OS compared to watchOS.
For some reason, YouTube Music on Wear OS does not support streaming, meaning you must download music before listening to it. You can only download music when the Galaxy Watch 4 of Galaxy Watch 4 Classic are charging too, so no downloading on the go. Likewise, you must have headphones connected to listen to music, because YouTube Music will not play over a built-in speaker.
Additionally, Google has not included a search option, nor can you view or download individual songs in an album or playlist. There is no ability to view cover art inside the app either, even though the Samsung Media Control tile has access to these images. Worse still, people have complained that YouTube Music affects performance on the Galaxy Watch 4 series. Anecdotally, we have not experienced this, but others have.
Overall, YouTube Music feels like another misstep for Google's Wear OS platform. While Google could have led by example here, it has not. Instead, YouTube Music feels rushed and incomplete with many features missing that one would have expected to be there from day one.
NotebookCheck & r/WearOS