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Wear OS by Google app quality

Wear OS by Google aims to provide users with just the right information at just the right time. Great Wear OS experiences are launched automatically, glanceable, and require zero or low user interaction. Designing apps for wearables is substantially different to designing for phones or tablets. There are different strengths and weaknesses, different use cases, and different ergonomics to take into consideration.

The first step toward creating a great experience for users on Wear OS is to read the Wear OS design guidelines, which provide instructions on how to build the best user experience for Wear OS apps. You should also review the Building Apps for Wearables training, to understand the fundamental implementation requirements for a Wear OS app.

This page helps you assess the core aspects of quality in your Wear OS app through a compact set of functional and user interface quality criteria.

Important: To ensure a great user experience, apps for wearables must meet specific requirements for usability. Only apps that meet the following quality criteria will qualify as a Wear OS app on Google Play. Qualifying as a Wear OS app will make it easier for those using wearables to discover your app on Google Play.

Note: For information about how to publish your Wear OS apps in Google Play, see Distributing to Wear OS.

Functionality

These criteria ensure that your app is configured correctly and provides the expected functional behavior.

Table 1. Functional criteria.

Type ID Description
General WR-GL

App includes a watch APK that runs directly on the Wear OS device and is discoverable in the Wear OS by Google (formerly Android Wear) on-watch Play Store. (Learn how)

WR-BF

Wear OS functionality works as expected or as described in the app's Google Play Store listing.

WR-FR

Notifications for messaging apps enable users to reply via RemoteInput. ( Learn how)

Visual design and user interaction

These criteria ensure that your app follows critical design and interaction patterns to provide a consistent, intuitive, and enjoyable user experience on wearables.

Important: Having rich notifications is no longer sufficient to pass Wear OS app quality review.

Table 2. Visual criteria.

Type ID Description
Layout WR-LS

The app's user interface is formatted appropriately for square displays. The app's content fits within the physical display area, and no text or controls are cut off by the screen edges.
(Learn how)

WR-LR

The app's user interface is formatted appropriately for round displays including devices with an inset (or "chin") at the bottom of the screen. The app's content fits within the physical display area, and no text or controls are cut off by the screen edges.
(Learn how)

WR-TC

The app's text is large and glanceable with a suggested minimum size of 12sp. ( Learn how)

Notifications WR-NC

The app displays confirmation animations when appropriate. (Learn how)

Google Play WR-GS

The app includes at least one Wear OS screenshot in its Play Store listing. ( Learn how)

Frequently asked questions

After I submit my app for Wear OS by Google review, how will I find out if my app does not meet all the requirements for Wear OS?

If your app does not meet the usability requirements described on this page, the Play Store team will contact you through the email address specified in the Google Play Console account associated with the app.

Caution: Make sure your app meets the functionality requirements, otherwise your app will not be considered a Wear OS app and will not be reviewed for Wear OS design and interaction.

Note: For information about how to publish your Wear OS apps in Google Play, see Distributing to Wear OS.

If my app does not meet the Wear OS requirements, will my new or updated app still appear on Google Play for other devices and still be installable on wearables?

Yes. The requirements described above only determine whether your app will be identified as a Wear OS app on Google Play and therefore be easier for Wear OS users to discover. If your app is not accepted as a Wear OS app, it will still be available to other device types, such as phones and tablets, and it will still be installable on wearables.