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Wear OS 2 smartwatches receive YouTube Music port

YouTube Music can now be installed on Wear OS 2 smartwatches with some trickery. (Image source: Google)
YouTube Music can now be installed on Wear OS 2 smartwatches with some trickery. (Image source: Google)
YouTube Music can finally be installed on Wear OS 2, despite Google and YouTube's intransigence. Officially, only Wear OS 3 supports Google's music streaming service, so just the Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic.

Wear OS continues to be an OS of contradictions, despite Google's protestations otherwise. Currently, only Samsung has any Wear OS 3-based smartwatches, which look and feel more like their Tizen predecessors than Wear OS 2. Google states that Wear OS 3 will arrive on other smartwatches sometime towards the end of 2022, seemingly only those running Snapdragon Wear 4100 series SoCs.

Frustratingly, Google refuses to port all Wear OS 3 apps to Wear OS 2. On the one hand, it released an updated Google Play Store to Wear OS 2 smartwatches, while Spotify has released its revised app on Wear OS 2 and Wear OS 3. However, the new Google Maps app and YouTube Music are nowhere to be seen for the likes of the TicWatch Pro 3. The latter's omission is more egregious, arguably, as it leaves Wear OS 2 without a YouTube Music client.

Thankfully, XDA Developers member DownAP has released a YouTube Music mod for Wear OS 2. The mod, based around YouTube Music Vanced, supports offline playback too, provided that you subscribe to Google's music streaming service.

You must also be comfortable with using ADB and know about sideloading from your PC to your smartwatch. DownAP has outlined the steps that you need to perform to get YouTube Music working on your Wear OS 2 smartwatch in the corresponding forum post. Mishaal Rahman, Editor in Chief of XDA Developers, has confirmed that the app works, raising the question of why Google does not publish a native YouTube Music app itself.

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Alex Alderson
Alex Alderson - Senior Tech Writer - 5766 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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Alex Alderson, 2021-09-10 (Update: 2021-09-10)