The new unified Wear OS version 3 is now publicly available on the new Samsung Galaxy Watch4 and Galaxy Watch4 Classic. These users are already able to enjoy the native YouTube app on the new Samsung watches, but that hasn’t been the case with legacy Wear OS devices.
A new report from 9to5Google reveals that the current wearable version of the YouTube music app for Wear OS isn’t compatible with Wear OS versions older than v3. The news was confirmed it was attempted to copy the YouTube Music APK from the Galaxy Watch4 and sideload it to a Moto 360.
To my Google account. After tinkering a bit with it, I got to skip the GMS login screen but it would show a Sign In button, so the application is basically useless without logging in. But to prove the point, it is possible to decrease the API level indeed. (2/X)
— linuxct (@linuxct) August 26, 2021
The ADB command returned an error that stated the YouTube Music app requires version Android 11 or higher. Current Wear OS devices are stuck on software based on Android 9 at the time of this writing. There’s a way to manually edit the app to use an older API, but the login screen is disabled as a result, so there’s no way to get it running at this time.
Spotify recently rolled out its updated wearable app on older Wear OS devices complete with offline playback, so why can’t Google do the same with YouTube Music? It is possible that there may be a separate app with limited features headed to the older Wear OS watches, but nothing is confirmed.
The Google Play Music app was discontinued and replaced by YouTube Music as the official Android app for listening to music. As it stands, legacy Wear OS devices don’t seem to be getting the attention they deserve, even with Google’s first-party apps.