The YouTube Music app for Wear OS is launching two new features this week, which were promptly announced in the Wear OS by Google Help Community. These updates include a brand new Wear OS tile and the ability to stream music directly from your watch over LTE or WiFi.
If you are a YouTube Music Premium or YouTube Premium subscriber, and you have tried to use the YouTube Music Wear OS app in the past, you may have noticed that you are unable to play songs from your music library unless you first download them to your watch. This can be a huge issue if your watch doesn’t have a lot of storage space, thus severely limiting the number of songs you can take with you during your run or workout session.
With this update, which was teased by Google and Samsung earlier this year, you will be able to listen to your music over your cellular data network (if your watch is LTE enabled and you have a compatible plan from your cellular provider) or over WiFi without having to have your phone nearby. You will also be able to download music as before using the Smart Downloads feature, which updates the songs downloaded to your watch every time it’s connected to WiFi. This functionality requires that you are a YouTube or YouTube Music Premium subscriber.
As a YouTube Music Premium subscriber, you’ll have access to more than 80 million songs and thousands of playlists on your YouTube Music app. This standalone app is the first smartwatch app from YouTube Music that allows YouTube Music Premium subscribers to download and stream music for ad-free listening, even without your phone nearby. The app also comes with the Smart Downloads feature, which refreshes the songs you’ve downloaded to your watch whenever it’s connected to WiFi. The app will even offer tailored playlists based on your listening history, so you can choose the perfect soundtrack for whatever you’re doing.Wear OS by Google Help Community
I have yet to receive this update myself, so I have not been able to try it. However, the new YouTube Music tile is live and works as promised. I was able to access my recently played playlists and browse my music. However, I did have to download the song I wanted to play as the streaming functionality hasn’t reached my account yet.
It looks like Google is giving Wear OS some TLC and is ramping up the rollout of new Wear OS features and improvements ahead of the Pixel Watch release for this fall. I am looking forward to possibly having apps like the Home app updated to work with Wear OS version 2 as well so that older watches can use it. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for that possibility.