General Official List of Sideloaded Apps and Workarounds For Galaxy Watch 4 (GW4)

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73sydney

Senior Member
There is actually a really good free app called fair mail
that works really well. Can confirm that its standalone and requires you to sign in on the watch. I recommend using app passwords on your google account and use adb keyboard to input your email and pass via adb.

Edit: BONUS its open source so u dont have to worry about the dev stealing your passwords

cheers im aware of this, i just wish Google would make a native Gmail app already
 
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Believe me when i tell you i tried everything, including paying for it...no bueno, and you will find others who went through similar hell
Yep, can't argue with that. Very odd that it doesn't work for some people. I personally never had an issue. I think it's probably due to syncing issues between watch and phone.. really not sure.

If all else fails, download Wear Mail from the play store on phone. Use Wear Installer to extract the APK and install directly into watch. If that doesn't work, then you have software issues because it literally still works flawlessly. Has never even glitched or crashed on me.
 

Zotyoo

Member
Jul 11, 2015
38
10
Messenger call not working after One UI 4.5 update. He calls the other party according to the clock, but in reality he does nothing. Part of the message is still working (Messenger Lite v18).
 

paul.laup

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Aug 5, 2015
2
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I found that SnartTubeNext works pretty well on my GW4. You have to open the menu with the go back button and apply the maximum scaling and set the default resolution to 360p. Scrolling is not working properly due to TV inputs, but you can scroll by tapping the adjacent video
Wanted to point out that YouTube go has been discontinued I think. It won't work anymore on my watch
 
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lumos77

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Jun 21, 2019
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hi @bingblop great thread, im getting the "error getting apk information" message when trying to sideload, saw your message addressing someone else with this issue and the .apk file is properly named, ive also tried multiple versions with no luck. any ideas?
 
Google Home is available on Preview on my Galaxy Watch4. Very limited functionality. No media or volume controls. Just on and off toggles for switches, fans, lights.
 

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AnesuC

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Oct 17, 2016
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I found that SnartTubeNext works pretty well on my GW4. You have to open the menu with the go back button and apply the maximum scaling and set the default resolution to 360p. Scrolling is not working properly due to TV inputs, but you can scroll by tapping the adjacent video
Alright this works! Only down side is there is no offline downloads support but understandable since its a Tv App technically.
 

motisu

Senior Member
Apr 2, 2006
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I have to thank you OP for this info and testing by yourself and every member involved in this thread.

I am one of the lucky ones that has a Galaxy watch 5 pro with no Google Assistant due to issues in the app connection to the phone.
It goes to open the Google app to start activating assistant like it does with the 44mm Galaxy Watch 5, but it fails to go to the next step of activation and lands on the discovery page.

Well knowing how well this threads info worked for us on the Galaxy Watch 4, I have gone ahead and installed the Google Assistant Go version listed in the post using Bugjaeger.

This time we go into the watch settings >> about watch >> software info >> keep clicking the software version until it tells you developer mode ON.
Then goto watch settings >> Developer Options >> 1. turn on adb debugging
Then goto watch settings >> Developer Options >> 2. debug over wireless
Then goto watch settings >> Developer Options >> Wireless debugging >> + pair new deveice

In Bugjaeger we then start up the connection and click pair, enter the IP, the port and the passcode.
At this point it will be connected in Bugjaeger and the watch will beep showing a new notification for debugging.

Install the Google Assistant GO apk and voila you are good to go.
I did have to do an interactive shell to "wm density 280" in order to click the continue button for activation.
Remember to reset your density to its original number(which on the 5 pro is 340)

If you are like me and need assistant or the device gets returned, use this as a solution until google fixes their routine for activating assistant.

Feel good moment since I wont be returning this loved watch 5 pro!

EDIT1: Nothing above was editing only this addition,

I have also found that the workaround method for the BP/EKG by Dante is still working with the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro. Installation of his APK for the watch can be installed with Bugjaeger just like we installed Google Assistant Go just above.
How is the GW5 compared to the GW4? Is it absolutely worth the upgrade or would waiting 1 more update be wise?

My understanding is that the battery life is pretty much the main thing between them. Can you confirm your battery life is night and day compared to GW4 and its horrendous battery life?
 
I honestly did not expect this thread to become as big as it did. Thank you everyone for the kind words and it's comforting to know that the hours of work I put into this wasn't in vain.

If the file doesn't work then it's probably no longer compatible or similar. I will not be updating this thread with new files or new content unless it's really noteworthy. Please drop any compatibility tips in a comment for other users.

A lot of helpful material and FAQ in the comments of this thread. Please check comments before asking your question to reduce bloat.
 

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  • 3
    Cant seem to get Youtube Go to work, what am I doing wrong? Also is there any app for watch faces? The ones on play store seem scammy and keep asking for money.
    You can try https://newpipe.net/, works for me
    2
    @bingblop
    I see you have tried 3 sideloading apps...
    I would love to have your opinion on an app I developed on my own...


    I will be releasing an update for the watch app to target minSDK 28 & above (Android 9 and above), current target is sdk 30 android 11...
    1
    Has anyone figured it out how to make the Messeger(Meta) to be visible properly? I tried many versions and only 1 was ok where I could press the send after like 5 tries on my Watch 4 44mm.
    1
    app works fine on my GW4 but I can't remap the long press. In settings, it only gives me the choice of Bixby or Assistant or Power off. How did you do it?
    Set it as Bixby then use the app on the first page of this forum (GW4 Remap) to change Bixby to Alexa
  • 69
    SIDELOAD LIBRARY
    COMPATIBLE WITH GALAXY WATCH 5
    APKMIRROR
    Note: The apkmirror links are available, as well as the version numbers to do your own search for the APK if needed. Also, since Galaxy Watch 5 uses the same architecture and framework, everything here will be just as applicable.
    Google Assistant GO v2.8 (ApkMirror): It can do all the important functions you look for in a voice assistant such as phone calls, messaging, app launcher, smart home control, reminders, timers, alarms, perform searches, and is as good as it gets when it comes to answering questions. In terms of a workaround, it's really good and much better than the Wear OS Bixby which is essentially useless. This is the best option not just for GW4, but for all Wear OS given the current state it's in.
    OFFICIAL GOOGLE ASSISTANT NOW AVAILABLE FOR GALAXY WATCH

    Google GO v1.7 (ApkMirror): Best way to use this is as a portal to quickly perform Google Searches and open links in your default browser. It can display quick search results without having to open any links (Weather, Dictionary, Tracking, Etc). It's essentially a stripped down version of the Google App. Newer versions will open links using a Chromium style browser which will crash on your watch unless you also have the Chrome browser app installed (listed below). Older versions will launch links in your default browser app.

    Google Chrome for GW4 (XDA)(Google Drive): This version of Chrome is listed in the XDA Google Assistant for GW4 Mega-Thread. It works well Sideloaded but I'm not sure if it's just an older version or also modded to not crash on GW4. This is my go-to personally.

    Messenger Lite v18 (ApkMirror): Fully functional Facebook Messenger. If you use Facebook Messenger regularly, this app is a mandatory must have on watch!

    Facebook Messenger (Wear OS) (ApkMirror): This is the official Facebook Messenger Wear OS plugin that comes preloaded on some brands that use Wear OS (Not Samsung). It's extremely lightweight and offers a very nice interface designed for watches when you tap "Open App" from a received Messenger notification. It's a convenience that you can install and then forget... It's difficult to explain but I use this and the Messenger Lite app listed above since this is only a plugin that operates as a system app with limited functionality but it's the best at what it does.

    Facebook Lite v49 (ApkMirror): This version works exceptionally well. No bottom bar blocking screen and includes dark mode. It even has it's native Messenger interface that looks amazing and gives you the option to load Messenger Lite or stay in the app. You don't even need Messenger Lite if you have this app and don't mind a couple extra taps to get there. Includes Marketplace, News Feed, profile editing, and all the other features you care about without the ones you don't.

    YouTube Go v1.22.54 (ApkMirror): Found a YouTube app that's 100% functional and looks AMAZING! The version I posted works excellent compared to others I tried. It's almost like it was designed for round screens. Also verified that it has no problem playing videos.
    NOTE: Reports that since YouTube Go has been discontinued, this no longer works. Have not confirmed.

    Google News v5.5 (ApkMirror):
    Compared to what's available on the Play Store, this app has no competition. The display isn't perfect but you'll have no problems accessing all content within the app. Several versions don't work but I posted and included a version of Google News that verified does work.

    Google Translator (Google Drive): This is the old Translator app that used to come installed on Google Wear OS watches. It works perfectly. Very hard to find.

    Google Home v2.7.21.2 (ApkMirror): After extensive testing with various versions of the APK, I can confirm v2.7 is the best version currently for GW4. I was surprised by just how well this app integrates into GW4. If you use Google Home then this is a must have for your GW4!
    UPDATE: Official Google Home app now available on Wear OS Play store in "Pre-Install" as of 10/6/22. Stable should be out soon.

    Google Files Go v1.0.19 (ApkMirror): Excellent file manager for your watch that includes an app manager, automatic junk removal, and cache cleaning. You will have to lower your DPI to dismiss the initial dialog upon installing the app. Newer versions work too with more features at the expense of performance and visibility.

    Wear Mail (Watch) (Phone): This is an older standalone/companion email client designed for Wear OS that's available on the mobile Play Store but not Wear OS Play Store. It's the best email client available Wear OS and includes syncing to Gmail and several others. It can do all the basic email functions you'd expect for an email app including sending emails from watch UI.

    Working Wear Apps By Appfour
    Cloud Access Disabled For All Apps Below
    Wear Messages
    Wear Photos
    Wear Videos
    Wear Calendar
    Wear Documents
    Gallery Go (ApkMirror): Lite version of Google photos for easy offline management and editing of your photos and videos. This does not sync photos between your devices. Only download if you store photos on your watch. Note: Wear Photos works better and is located within the Sideload library!

    Spotify MOL (Google Drive): A modded Spotify Lite version. I've tried several modded Spotify apps and this is the best one I've found. It can play anything from your Spotify premium account directly from your watch as a standalone. You don't need your mobile device at all.

    GW4 Remap (Download): This app is new to the scene by XDA user BigBoot93 and packs a huge punch that I think ya'll are gonna want. With the release of this app, we can now Remap the Bixby and/or Samsung Pay shortcuts to Google Assistant Go or Google Pay respectively. That's right! How it works is when you long press the hardware button, the app of your choice will override the built in app and launch over it. For the Bixby shortcut, it's highly recommended you change your settings to open the power menu instead of Bixby when long pressed. Then configure the app to launch Google Assistant whenever the Power Menu is shown. It's the best option for overriding Bixby hardware. This should help until Google releases an official version of GA for Wear OS 3.0. Update: Ultimate Alexa was just added to the list of configurable apps.
    Source: GitHub | XDA

    Big Font
    (Play Store): This convenient app allows you to change the font size to any size you want. It's available for in phone play store but can be side loaded to your watch and confirms working. Useful if some apps are giving you visibility issues but you don't want to run an ADB command every time. Highly recommend!
    Recommended By: puredp1 - Thanks!
    Discord v40.8 (ApkMirror): Works good enough to use on watch but it isn't ideal for round screens given it's layout. This is fully functional if you're patient enough to mess with it.

    Instagram Lite v200+ (ApkMirror): Old versions crash. It doesn't look the greatest but it's fully functional. The problem is that the bottom status bar covers 20-25% of the display with blank white space for some absurd reason. Unless you use Instagram often there's no reason to bother with this.

    User Recommendations: Google Voice and Google Hangouts (Have not tried personally so I don't know).
    NOTE: You can lower your font size to optimum viewing by using the following ADB command: adb shell settings put system font_scale 0.80
    ---Can replace 0.80 with any number. Normal size font uses 1.00.


    Apps Used For Side Loading
    Bugjaeger (Link): My personal favorite. Good for any ADB related action that you could possibly need for side loading including bundled installation. Do not prefix commands with "adb".
    Easy Fire Tools (Link): Basically the same thing as Bugjaeger with a multitude of other features that could be considered useful or useless depending on the user.
    Wear Installer (Link): Good app for quickly extracting the companion Wear OS apk from the mobile companion APK since several outdated apps aren't included in the Wear OS Play Store. Can save the APK or install directly on your watch. No command input functions however.
    Change DPI
    adb wm density xxx
    Display Current DPI
    adb wm density
    Reset DPI
    adb wm density reset
    Install App
    adb -e install <filename.apk>
    Uninstall App
    adb pm uninstall -k --user 0 <package_name>
    Customize Font Size
    adb shell settings put system font_scale x.xx


    OLD vs NEW
    The Best place to download various versions of ANY apk is ApkMirror. Some APK versions have multiple variants available. Only armeabi-v7a "Arch" types work on Galaxy Watches. The reason newer versions of apk's developed for mobile phones don't work is because most newer versions use armabi-v8a arch types for compatibility with newer models. However, Galaxy Watch 4 doesn't support v8a. For DPI, use nodpi for best results. Super old versions of an APK have a high likelihood of no longer working with any device due to outdated files, authentication, or security protocols. Test it on your phone first. Just bounce around the hundreds of available versions available for most major apps until you find one that works. Newer versions have more features (which may or may not work), but older versions have a more fluid and visible interface on watches. If you're trying to use an app that uses WebViews or Chrome Custom Tabs, it will crash on watches unless you install the chrome browser app I listed above which gives your watch the ability to use Chrome Custom Tabs.

    DISCLAIMER
    I did not create or develop any of the application content within this thread, nor am I in association with any of the developers that did. There is absolutely no monetary compensation for myself regarding anything in this post. My intent was to create a free public library of available content for Galaxy Watch 4 because I knew it would be useful. Everything here has been tested by myself by searching high and low for the best apps I could find and testing each one extensively on my own GW4. I experimented with various versions of each apk to confirm the best compatibility. I'm simply putting together a library of what I confirmed works good enough to sideload. If you know any other apps that aren't included in this list, please share below!

    FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
    Please check the comments of this thread before asking a question. A lot of FAQ are available within thread already so please help reduce bloat so other members can find the content they need.​
    11
    List of additional APKs that can be Sideloaded to your watch by Appfour developer (Extracted from the phone app version). These apps are wear apps but were removed from the wear side of the play store.

    Wear Messages: Syncs to Default sms and Facebook messenger.

    Wear Mail: Provides standalone or companion access to Gmail and various other emails. Full email functionality.

    Calendar for Wear or Calendar W: 2 of them included. Both can link to Google or Samsung calendar account. I prefer Calendar W.

    Wear Photos: Standalone or linked app that can view all the images from your phone.

    Wear Video: Standalone or linked that can view all the videos from your phone.

    Wear WiFi: Great Standalone Wi-Fi manager. (This app is available on both play stores, no need to sideload).

    Those are all the appfour apps that I have installed that WORK. All the other ones don't work so I didn't include them like the YouTube or Document viewer.

    I highly recommend the Email if nothing else.

    Note: Wear Mail was too big to import at 7mb so I had to zip it first.

    Also: I attached the old Facebook messenger addon that wear OS used to have installed. It can't open messenger directly but when you receive a messenger notification on your watch, there's an option to "open app" which will then open a messenger interface that is designed for wear OS with full functionality.
    7
    I had to get an account for XDA because I could not go without thanking everyone here for making my galaxy watch 4 something I am satisfied with. I love the hardware of this watch, but the lack of some applications left some to be desired. I really appreciate you all!
    5
    I have tried to install different versions of GO Assistant with no success. The 1.x versions do not even start (the loading circle remains). The 2.x versions start but then he doesn't "hear" me when I speak (even if from the interface it is listening and I obviously gave permission for the microphone).
    Which version have you installed successfully?
    For me it was 2.8
    4
    "wm density reset" to go back to default value. You're right , it is 340. I did a reset and used " wm density" to display it
    Thanks, this is the key info I had been missing. (I was too scared to try and adjust the resolution from other threads because it wasn't complete enough). I already had BugJ installed on phone from when I sideloaded Go. Process below (I omitted the part where I validated the default was, indeed, 340, before I changed it).

    Turn off bluetooth (connections menu)
    Turn on wifi (connections menu)
    Turn on ADB debugging in developer options menu
    Turn on debugging via wifi
    Back out of that menu
    Go back into developer options to get IP address
    Go into BugJ and connect to that IP address
    In BugJ go to the first tab (commands)
    Click on the "+" icon at top
    Add a command that is "wm density 200", name it something like "wm" and save it
    Go back to first tab, scroll to bottom to find command added (wm) and "play" it
    Go to watch and activate Assistant Go, see tiny text, click on blue box, then again on next screen, this will dismiss that junk on the bottom of Assistant Go.
    Go back to BugJ, edit the command to be "wm density 340"
    Play that command
    Go to watch, activate Assistant Go and confirm screen res is normal.
    Exit BugJ
    Turn off Debugging on watch
    Then turn off wifi and turn on bluetooth

    Celebrate!