Uninstalling Android apps on other devices is about to become a lot easier

Google Play Store home page on Android and Chrome OS
(Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • The November Google Play Store update will let you "uninstall apps on connected devices" using your phone.
  • This feature could target Android tablets, Android TV boxes, Wear OS watches, or Chromebooks — but we don't know how it works yet. 
  • Other v38.3 updates include Wear OS improvements and better Play Store search results. 

You can use your smartphone to install a Play Store app on any device associated with your Google account, from watches to Chromecasts. To uninstall those apps, however, you'd have to go onto the specific device's storage... that is, until the latest Play Store v38.3 update arrives and turns your Android phone into a proper app manager.

The November Google System update changelog, mostly full of minor tweaks, has one intriguing line: "[Phone] New feature to help you uninstall apps on connected devices."

We don't know how this "feature" will work, nor which "connected devices" will support remote uninstallation. We won't know for certain until we receive Play Store v38.3, which officially launched on November 6 but hasn't been pushed out to our phones as of yet.

In theory, it could work the same way you uninstall phone apps: in the Play Store, tap your account icon, select Manage apps & device, and tap the Manage tab. You typically see all "Installed" phone apps and can select multiple before tapping the trash icon. Instead, maybe you could select the Installed box and choose a different category, like "Installed on Wear OS."

As for which "connected devices" this feature could support, the Play Store currently lets you install apps from your Android phone to your tablets, Chromebooks, Wear OS watch, and Google TV devices. 

Uninstalling apps on an Android tablet or Chromebook is fairly easy, but the option to delete the same app across multiple devices at once or to go through multiple lists of apps in one convenient location sounds much more convenient than the present system.

It'll especially benefit Wear OS watches, too. You can delete Galaxy Watch apps in the Galaxy Wearable app, but most stock Wear OS watches have you delete apps on the watch itself.

The update has other minor changes like redesigned Google Play Protect information cards and new search results that show an icon "that will take you right to the app or game." It also promises to "improve Updatability" on Wear OS watches via changes to "system management services."

Michael L Hicks
Senior Editor, Wearables & AR/VR

Michael is Android Central's resident expert on wearables and fitness. Before joining Android Central, he freelanced for years at Techradar, Wareable, Windows Central, and Digital Trends. Channeling his love of running, he established himself as an expert on fitness watches, testing and reviewing models from Garmin, Fitbit, Samsung, Apple, COROS, Polar, Amazfit, Suunto, and more.