Google Maps and Keep are back on Wear OS 2

Fossil Gen 5 smartwatch on a wrist
(Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

Update (Dec 2, 6:45 pm ET): Google brings the apps back.

What you need to know

  • Google seems to have quietly ditched support for Keep and Maps on Wear OS 2 watches.
  • These apps remain operational on older smartwatches where they're currently installed as long as the wearable devices are not reset.
  • Otherwise, you won't be able to find both apps on the Play Store.

Google appears to have unceremoniously dropped support for Keep and Maps on Wear OS 2 smartwatches, according to 9to5Google (opens in new tab). As a result, many users of older Wear OS models will be unable to access the two apps if their watches are reset.

Some Wear OS 2 watch owners took to Reddit (opens in new tab) to report that Google Keep was no longer available in the Play Store for their wearables. If you own any of the best Wear OS watches eligible to upgrade to Wear OS 3, you shouldn't be too concerned.

However, if your watch is not on the list of devices that are set to receive Wear OS 3, you're out of luck. The most recent version of Keep on a Google Pixel Watch is 5.22.452.00.97, and it only supports Android 11 or higher. Meanwhile, Wear OS 2 is based on Android 9, which falls behind the requirement of the latest version of Keep.

As for Google Maps, 9to5 noticed that the app also now limits its requirements to the latest version of Wear OS. It's worth noting that this only becomes a problem if you've reset your watch. Otherwise, the aforementioned apps should remain operational if they're already installed on your device.

The removal of support on legacy Wear OS watches comes a few months after Keep received a useful tile on Wear OS 3. The feature allows you to easily create new Keep notes from your wrist.

Google's decision to end support for both apps on older watches may have come sooner than expected. Wear OS 2 continues to command a sizable portion of the smartwatch market despite the arrival of Wear OS 3. 

We've reached out to Google for comment and will update this article once we hear back.

Update

After mysteriously disappearing from the app store on older Wear OS devices, Google Maps and Keep support has been restored. Google confirmed this in a statement to Android Authority:

"Last week, Google Keep and Maps for Wear OS 2 devices were temporarily removed from the Play Store. Google engineers have since restored availability of the apps onto the Play Store."

It's still unclear why the apps were removed, but we're glad to see them back.

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer & Reviewer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.

With contributions from