YouTube Music finally comes to Wear OS in a way that'll likely tick you off

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Review
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Review (Image credit: Daniel Bader / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • YouTube Music is now available on the Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic.
  • The app can be used to download music to your watch and listen offline with a pair of Bluetooth headphones.
  • Streaming music is not currently supported.

Are you one of the fortunate folks to have already received your Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 or Watch 4 Classic? Great news then, as YouTube Music is now available on Wear OS Powered by Samsung — that's the specific version of Wear OS 3 that runs on the Galaxy Watch 4 series — marking the first time YouTube Music has been available on a smartwatch that isn't made by Apple.

Yes, you read that right. For almost the past year now, the only YouTube Music smartwatch app has been available on the Apple Watch — an unfortunate trend among the latest and greatest Google apps — and now is only available on the latest Samsung smartwatches. We've reached out to Google to find out if it plans to grace other Wear OS watch owners with its popular music service and will update this article with more information.

At the moment, the YouTube Music app is somewhat limited in scope. It's mainly designed for offline playback, as the only way to play music appears once you've selected and downloaded your preferred songs or playlists. Furthermore, while you can queue downloads of music at any time — or rely on YouTube Music's somewhat questionable Smart Downloads feature — your Galaxy Watch 4 will only actually download music when it's on the charger. There's no support for streaming music at this time, which is likely done to help preserve precious battery life.

The interface itself is simple enough, giving users the ability to browse or search their music library, queue songs up for download, manage Smart Downloads storage, and, of course, control music playback. The goal here is clearly for users to download music ahead of a scheduled time away from their phone, such as exercising or adventuring outdoors, and pair the best wireless eabuds with their watch in order to listen to music. Here's hoping both the scope of the app and the rollout to more watches don't take as long as it took to get to this point.

Nicholas Sutrich
Senior Content Producer — Smartphones & VR
Nick started with DOS and NES and uses those fond memories of floppy disks and cartridges to fuel his opinions on modern tech. Whether it's VR, smart home gadgets, or something else that beeps and boops, he's been writing about it since 2011. Reach him on Twitter or Instagram @Gwanatu