Google play wear os companion app

I refer to the issue of many Samsung Publisher’s are facing now in respect to their work not being visible when accessed via Android devices. Although some Publishers have found a workaround with an empty Android companion app, I feel its not the right solution.

I believe GooglePlay will raise their priority to rectify the issue if all Galaxy Store Publishers here raise a feedback form in expressing the same.

Link: Report an Issue to Google Play - Play Console Help

Thank you

I think it is because you have to search from your watch first before it will recognize you have a compatible device but I’m not positive.

But Samsung Developer Community is not the right place for this discussion, I’ll let it sit for a while but I will need to remove it at some point.

Ron

Its not that easy Ron, otherwise other Publishers would have said so and dont have to build an empty companion app with the same package ID of their watch face app.

There is something requiring serious attention from Google. This seems to affect Android devices only, with iPhone the Developer page can be viewed with all the apps listed. Plus rates and comments left by users are also not visible.

I have lodged two reports and have yet to receive a reply. I figure if more Publishers do the same, perhaps Google Developer Support will respond.

This API is only available on Wear OS watches and paired Android devices. For Wear OS watches paired with iOS phones, apps can query other cloud-based APIs if Internet connectivity is available.

Any tips how to pair the API to Android devices?

I’ve received a reply from Google Play Developer Support on the above issue, plus that I cant view the rates and comments left by customer. In a nutshell, his reply is that both my device and that of my customer’s is not compatible with GooglePlay :frowning_face:

I think these are not the only two models affected. Considering more new lineup of Watches and Phones will be launched in the near future, its best Samsung and Google sit together soon.

I may be over simplifying this. I have never tried to sell a watch face on Play Store but aren’t you missing the advance Watch Face selection. As I read it, it says it isn’t compatible with your galaxy phone and of course it isn’t.

What am I missing?

Ron

Hi Ron, could you elaborate this?

Although I’m not an IT savvy person, I dont think this “unsupported” app issue is rocket science for a giant like Google Play (or Samsung). It looks more of an arrangement that non Samsung devices / apps gets priority in Google Play.

Hi Alithir,

When you submit your watch face you have to go to activate Wear OS in advanced settings or you get unavailable devices

One other thread said they got the unavailable and had to reset the Advanced Settings to get published.

It probably uses most downloads in the algorithm and the older Wear OS apps and ones that have a companion App for Android are going to have the most downloads

Ron
Samsung Developer Relations

I’ve done that for all my Watch app on Play Console > Advance Settings > Opt in Wear OS > upload screenshots on JPG and > agree to its policy.

I will receive an IRAC certification notice next day and goes Live shortly after. The Developer page works fine on PC, but blank on Phone device. My phone (Samsung S10+) is not supported. I believe there more Samsung devices that are not supported for Google Play. Hence some publishers have resorted to creating a Companion App.

Yes, this is what most publishers are doing. They create their own companion app. I dont know, maybe the Galaxy Wearable companion app needs an update to detect all those things Google mentions e.g. “android.hardware.type.watch”

I think Tony Morelan is working on a Blog that will include some help in being published on Play Store but I don’t have any timeline. I’ll probably try to publish my test version at some time so I can understand the process better. But I do understand the frustration everyone is having.

Ron
Samsung Developer Relations

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Great, looking forward to it. In the meantime, here’s something I stumbled upon on my Google Play Console about the “unsupported devices”. I surely don’t understand it, or the workaround for it. But trust someone in this Forum does.

Sharing correspondence between myself and Google Play Developer Support. As a non IT person I could not comprehends their explanation, maybe someone in this forum or in SDP might.

Question 1

Hi, I have published 20 Wear OS watch face apps on my Developer page, which I can view clearly and download Active apps. However, when I and other users access my page via their Android devices, its blank. Meaning no apps are visible, unbale to download or rate or leave comment (review).

I understand these are due to “unsupported device issue”. But I’m perplexed that 13,840 devices are affected - that’s almost the whole world.

I build my app’s using Watch Face Studio powered by Samsung, test it on my Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 (Wear OS) and my phone is Samsung Galaxy S10+. How can I work around to have all the 13,840 devices are supported on my Google Play Console?

Answer 1

Hi Developer,

Thanks for contacting Google Play Developer Support Team.

There can be a lot of reasons or implementation in order for your app to become unavailable for the majority of devices. Starting with your API target, it seems your app only targets API 28 as your minimum SDK in which this will prevent devices with lower SDK from installing your app. You may check this link for your guidance on how to configure your minSDK and maxSDK.

Another thing is to properly include all the required features in order to support the device, you may find which features are currently missing or need to be removed by checking the information on your device catalog, please check this link for additional details.

For more information regarding the missing features/app development questions ,I recommend using our Android Developers site.

If you have any other questions about using the Play Console, please let me know and I’ll be happy to help.

Regards,
(XXX)
Google Play Developer Support

Question 2

Hi (XXX), thank you for the feedback.

I’ve read your reply several times and would like to verify my understanding.

  1. Firstly, I am a developer of Wear OS using Watch Face Studio to build a working .aab files. Usually there are no issues with my Wear OS apps, gets passed and published on my store front (Developer page).

  2. When I access my Developer page via Windows PC, I can see all my 20 apps. However, when I access the same site with my Android device, the page is blank. I understand my Android device is amongst 13,840 devices that are not supported for Google Play.

  3. Should I understand correctly, you are saying that this is because my Wear OS was build with an API target 28+ and as such there are 13,840 Android deices out there that has yet to catchup?

  4. And therefore, I must rebuild my Wear OS app with a minimum SDK (e.g. API 21) in order for more Android devices can see my apps on my Developer Page of Play Store?

Thank you

Answer 2

Hi Developer,

Thanks for your reply.

Yes, that is correct. For more guidance, you may follow the Android Wear 2.0 App Distribution documentation. Key steps are listed below:

  1. Set your APKs to minSdkVersion 23 or higher and use the runtime permissions model.

  2. Target your APKs to watches by requiring “android.hardware.type.watch”

  3. Specify whether your APKs are standalone and can run on watches paired to iPhones.

If you have any other questions about using the Play Console, please let me know and I’ll be happy to help.

Regards,

(XXX)

Google Play Developer Support

HI Alithir.

You must build Wear 2.0 (API level 28) or higher. that is what is supported on Wear OS powered by Samsung. WFS will set that minimum SDK to 28 for you as well as permissions etc in the Manifest file it creates.

Play Store is not that familiar with standalone wear OS apps. they are expect something that requires a companion app on the mobile so be sure to list it as standalone.

Try this from your computer browser open Google Play Store click on the settings Icon and look at My devices if your watch isn’t there then you’ve never logged into Play Store from your watch and it won’t show as an available device. It it shows as an available device as you should be OK. The first time you search for your app from the mobile you may have to click on other devices in order to see the watch as available.

Everything looks pretty detailed

Ron
Samsung Developer Relations

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Hi Ron, thanks for the feedback.

Yes, both my phone and watch appears on Google Play web browser.

Ok, I’ll search around how to set it as “standalone”.