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."
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."
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Michael is Android Central's resident expert on fitness tech and wearables, with an enthusiast's love of VR tech on the side. After years freelancing for Techradar, Wareable, Windows Central, Digital Trends, and other sites on a variety of tech topics, AC has given him the chance to really dive into the topics he's passionate about. He's also a semi-reformed Apple-to-Android user who loves D&D, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings.
For wearables, Michael has tested dozens of smartwatches from Garmin, Fitbit, Samsung, Apple, COROS, Polar, Amazfit, and other brands, and will always focus on recommending the best product over the best brand. He's also completed marathons like NYC, SF, Marine Corps, Big Sur, and California International — though he's still trying to break that 4-hour barrier.