Google's YouTube Music app for Wear OS has finally arrived – and there's a catch

Only Samsung's upcoming smartwatches can use the app for the forseeable

YouTube Music
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Google’s YouTube Music app is finally now out and available for download on Wear OS. It arrives following its formal announcement in August 2020 after Google decided to pull the plug on Play Music for Wear OS.

But before you get carried away in rapturous excitement, and try to download the app to a model from our best smartwatch list, Google’s Wear OS 3 is the only platform that’s currently compatible with it. 

The limited compatibility means that the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic are the only wearables that’ll be able to use the app in the short term, with the US and UK able to buy the Korean firm's new wearable from tomorrow (August 27).

Although the YouTube Music app replaced the Play Music app for Wear OS watches last year, Wear OS users have had to endure a long wait despite Google releasing a YouTube Music app for the Apple Watch soon after it’d ended support for the service last year. Unless you're picking up the brand new Samsung wearable tomorrow, then, you'll have to wait even longer for other smartwatches to add compatibility.

Managing expectations 

To sully the good news even further, users that are able to get their hands on the brand new setup will only be allowed to download tracks on the app itself, as opposed to actually having the facility to stream music. And that's not all: the phone must be permanently plugged in to enable users to actually download anything – that's according to 9to5Google, which has spent time exploring the service. 

By way of comparison, Spotify's Wear OS app lets you stream and download music on older watches with offline playback to boot. But, remember, you'll still need to be running Wear OS 2 or later, as well as holding a Spotify premium subscription for the offline functionality. 

Given that you're still set on Google's YouTube Music app and have access to a Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, you can grab the app over on Google Play. Those on the hunt for Samsung's new watch can pre-order one up until today (August 26), and grab a $50 credit to use at the Samsung store in the process.

Luke Wilson
Luke Wilson

Luke covers all things tech at T3. Disc golf enthusiast, keen jogger, and fond of all things outdoors (when not indoors messing around with gadgets)