YouTube Music and upgraded Spotify app to support offline playback on Google's Wear OS platform

Spotify Wear OS update
Spotify Wear OS update (Image credit: Google)

What you need to know

  • Google announced that it's bringing a YouTube Music app to its Wear platform.
  • Spotify is also rebuilding its app from the ground up with support for offline playback.
  • The apps will arrive later this year with the new updates to Wear OS.

There was quite a bit that got announced at the Google I/O keynote today, but one of the bigger announcements was around the changes coming to Wear OS, namely, the apps that are arriving on the platform. Spotify and Google are aiming to bring quality music experiences to Wear OS thanks to their new apps.

Spotify already has an app on Wear OS, but the company has announced that it's rebuilding the app experience for the platform. This will include improved performance, smarter handling of playlist syncing, and even offline downloads. The company states that it is working to allow users to download music and podcasts to the Wear OS app, which could come in handy when going out on a run since it will allow users to leave their smartphones home.

It's great to see that Spotify is taking the time and effort to improve its app, especially after the company previously stated that it would not be able to build offline functionality. The company eventually moved the feature to "under consideration," but now we know that Spotify is committed to bringing music downloads to Wear OS.

YouTube Music is a new addition to Google's smartwatch platform. It replaced Google Play Music on all the best Android phones, but Wear OS users have been without a first-party music app from Google for some time, having to rely on apps like Spotify or Pandora. That is finally changing with the new Wear OS update.

Wear Os Google Maps Pay Youtube Music

Source: GoogleYou can see a screenshot of the new YouTube Music app on the right, along with updated Google Maps and Google Pay apps. (Image credit: Source: Google)

Google states that the new YouTube Music app for Wear OS will support offline playback and "smart" downloads and will arrive later this year. The company doesn't elaborate on what "smart" downloads are, but it could be similar to Spotify's aim to let its app download new content only when the watch is charging and connected to WiFi.

The new updates are expected to arrive later this year. In the meantime, you can learn all about the changes to Google and Samsung's Wear OS platform as well as the teased Fitbit device powered by Wear OS.

Derrek Lee
News Editor

Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.