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The YouTube Music app on Wear OS arrives with basic and messy functionality

YouTube Music is available on two Wear OS smartwatches. (Image source: NotebookCheck)
YouTube Music is available on two Wear OS smartwatches. (Image source: NotebookCheck)
YouTube Music has arrived on Wear OS, bringing offline downloads to the Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic. There are numerous drawbacks to Google's music service on Wear OS though, including performance issues and the inability to stream anything.

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.

Your smartwatch must be charging to download anything through YouTube Music. (Image source: NotebookCheck)
Your smartwatch must be charging to download anything through YouTube Music. (Image source: NotebookCheck)

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.

(Image source: NotebookCheck)
(Image source: NotebookCheck)
(Image source: NotebookCheck)
(Image source: NotebookCheck)
(Image source: NotebookCheck)
(Image source: NotebookCheck)

Source(s)

NotebookCheck & r/WearOS

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Alex Alderson
Alex Alderson - Senior Tech Writer - 5743 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2018
Prior to writing and translating for Notebookcheck, I worked for various companies including Apple and Neowin. I have a BA in International History and Politics from the University of Leeds, which I have since converted to a Law Degree. Happy to chat on Twitter or Notebookchat.
contact me via: @aldersonaj
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 08 > The YouTube Music app on Wear OS arrives with basic and messy functionality
Alex Alderson, 2021-08-25 (Update: 2021-08-25)