To improve the experience of using Wear OS 3 devices, Google has introduced a number of watch app quality requirements, which will go into effect in August of this year.
Previously, there were only eight watch app and watch face requirements. Google Play will add 31 more soon. Google wants to ensure that apps “follow critical design and interaction patterns to create a consistent, intuitive, and enjoyable user experience on Wear OS.”
Above navigation This includes allowing “users to swipe away from nearly any screen”, but excludes fitness activities and maps. All scrolling content must support rotating crowns but I need to show the scrollbar. Activity in progress should display indicators at the bottom of the watch face, app launcher chips/cards, and tiles.
Google also wants developers to maintain the state of their apps.
- Preserve user or app state when leaving the foreground to prevent accidental data loss due to back navigation or other state changes.
- If the app is resumed from the launcher or recent apps switcher within minutes of last use, revert the app state to its previous state whenever possible.
in terms of visual qualitydevelopers must “display the time clearly at the top of the app’s home screen and ongoing activity screen” and all apps and tiles must use a black background. should also be displayed.
Currently there is a “minimum font size of 12sp for important text and 10sp for non-important text” and apps should “comply with the font size set by the user in system settings” to improve accessibility.
under performance and features, the app must target Android 11 (API level 30). It’s based on Wear OS 3. There are also requirements for app stability and Play Store listing.
These new requirements, including targeting Android 11, will go into effect on August 31, 2023.
After August 31, 2023, apps that target lower levels will not be discoverable by all Google Play users whose devices are running a version of the Android OS newer than the app’s target API level.
Wear OS 3 details:
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