General Official List of Sideloaded Apps and Workarounds For Wear OS (Tested on Galaxy Watch)

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After having the exact same problem you did, I accidentally figured out how to log in. If the button is greyed out then you're actually already logged in at that point. You just need to swipe backwards until it goes into the desktop looking app.

Keywords: Spotify, log in, can't.
I tried and no use, that button still greyed our for me.
 

mrfatiga22

Senior Member
Dec 5, 2020
92
42
Android Wear
Dear, there is a modified APK of WhatsApp, fully functional with the same number. A complete WhatsApp. Note that it is not an official app and it is not in the Play Sotre. I installed it yesterday and I'm testing it. So far so good, but again, be careful with security, everyone is responsible. Greeting

 

mrfatiga22

Senior Member
Dec 5, 2020
92
42
Android Wear
Dear, there is a modified APK of WhatsApp, fully functional with the same number. A complete WhatsApp. Note that it is not an official app and it is not in the Play Sotre. I installed it yesterday and I'm testing it. So far so good, but again, be careful with security, everyone is responsible. Greeting

 

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Andykt76

Member
Jan 24, 2019
33
11
I've been using this version of Alexa with good success. commands work and the display shows replies and get verbal replies too

Remapped it to launch with a long press of my Galaxy Watch 5 button

https://www.reddit.com/r/wearosmods/comments/w6blgz

Pro tip!

If you launch the app and tap the Alexa button it doesn't speak back but it let's you send commands to your devices (like smartthings and homeassistant).
If you laugh and hold down the button whilst talking the watch gives voice responses but seems to run a reduced Alexa service which doesn't work as good as the main app.
 
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motisu

Senior Member
Apr 2, 2006
1,301
109
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I've been using this version of Alexa with good success. commands work and the display shows replies and get verbal replies too

Remapped it to launch with a long press of my Galaxy Watch 5 button

https://www.reddit.com/r/wearosmods/comments/w6blgz

Pro tip!

If you launch the app and tap the Alexa button it doesn't speak back but it let's you send commands to your devices (like smartthings and homeassistant).
If you laugh and hold down the button whilst talking the watch gives voice responses but seems to run a reduced Alexa service which doesn't work as good as the main app.
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?
 
@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...
 

Amaeloeze07

Member
Nov 30, 2022
7
0
Google News App doesnt seem to be working anymore. It says that it needs to be updated. Does any one have a Google News app that works?
 

Zdoggsm

Member
Apr 1, 2019
9
2
Dayton
Just found this post recently anyway just had a question. I mainly use Facebook messenger on my phone so is it worth it to side load the app to my watch or just keep using the default app that the watch uses to text people. Also is it as easy to text on as the default app any know issues I may run into?
 
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@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...
I actually just bought the GW5. When I get around to setting it up, I'll use your app for side loading and give feedback. Will also add to list if it turns out to be reliable.
 
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Google News App doesnt seem to be working anymore. It says that it needs to be updated. Does any one have a Google News app that works?
Go to Apkmirror and try downloading a version newer than the one I posted until you find one that works. Please let me know if you find one. Look for versions that support v7a architecture.
Use this link
 
Just found this post recently anyway just had a question. I mainly use Facebook messenger on my phone so is it worth it to side load the app to my watch or just keep using the default app that the watch uses to text people. Also is it as easy to text on as the default app any know issues I may run into?
The only option built into watch is responding to messages through the notification.

Messenger Lite gives you a dedicated messenger interface to use from your watch just like you would on phone for sending messages. With the lite version, you can actually send messages first.

Should be no issues. Just login and you're good to go. Facebook lite is available too and also includes messenger built in so you can have standalone Facebook functionality too (requires a few extra button taps to get to messenger screen though compared to Messenger Lite). They both work exceedingly well for what you'd expect. All in all, most "lite" and "go" versions of an app work well on wear even though they weren't developed for wear.
 
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puredp1

Senior Member
Apr 29, 2014
252
71
Just found this post recently anyway just had a question. I mainly use Facebook messenger on my phone so is it worth it to side load the app to my watch or just keep using the default app that the watch uses to text people. Also is it as easy to text on as the default app any know issues I may run into?
Hi. I have sideloaded messenger to my watch and I'm using it exactly as with the phone. I can do anything I can do with my phone like sending voice messages, writing with my voice and type. The interface is not build for the watch but it gets the job done if you change the dpi and use big font for the font to be bigger after!
 
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puredp1

Senior Member
Apr 29, 2014
252
71
For some reason Facebook messenger can't login has anyone has an apk version from apk mirror who knows it works? it has to be armeabi v7a for galaxy watch 4 classic
 

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  • 1
    Hmm, I'll look into this tonight. Do you have Google Contacts installed on your watch? It's available in the watch play store. Are you able to see all your contacts when you click the contacts button in your phone app? Also, is your watch synced to Google Cloud (under advanced settings)?

    lll report what I find after some more extensive testing.
    To reply to all your questions:
    - Yes, i have google contacts installed on both, my Galaxy watch 4 and my google pixel 7.
    - Yes, iam able to see all the contacts in the app on my watch, even i when start to call someone one i can see the name for one second and after it's like the screenshot.
    - Yes, my watch is synchronized to my google account.

    feel free to ask more questions to solve this issue. I can even test a modified version when you finish it if you want.
    thanks
    1
    Has someone installed domotic apps like Smartlife or Broadlink app in the GW4/5? I installed/uninstalled many apks version armv7 but they didn't work
    I believe most of those apps require webviews which GW doesn't support. Your best bet is to implement those apps into one common app like Google Home and use that with watch.
    1
    Quick question as this thread seems active still, I used wear installer 2, and sideloaded Google News and messanger lite, both are working awesome, quick question tho I was messing around the dpi and I was able to reset it, but for some reason when I swipe down on the watch for the quick setting buttons, they are still shrunk, is there a way to fix that? The other screens are showing at regular dpi sizing, by the way its a galaxy watch 5 pro, any help would be greatly appreciated
    The quick settings dpi resets when you reboot the watch (or restart systemui)
    1
    Quick question as this thread seems active still, I used wear installer 2, and sideloaded Google News and messanger lite, both are working awesome, quick question tho I was messing around the dpi and I was able to reset it, but for some reason when I swipe down on the watch for the quick setting buttons, they are still shrunk, is there a way to fix that? The other screens are showing at regular dpi sizing, by the way its a galaxy watch 5 pro, any help would be greatly appreciated
    Have you reset your watch since resetting the DPI back to normal? Sometimes things can get janky until you reset after a DPI swap. If you reset your watch and you're still seeing issues with your quick panel then you have something very very weird going on.
  • 76
    SIDELOAD LIBRARY
    COMPATIBLE WITH WEAR OS 3
    TESTED ON GALAXY WATCHES

    All Smart Watches Can Probably Benefit From This Guide

    I've been updating this list regularly for over a year now. I crossed out everything that is no longer supported or obsolete. Several links and versions have been updated with newer versions as old ones break. Special thanks to everyone who has contributed to testing and providing feedback on various apps and versions. That's why I'm able to keep this list updated. Enjoy!

    *** = Personal Favorites
    Google Assistant GO v2.8 (ApkMirror)
    Official Google Assistant for Wear OS 3 now available!

    Google GO v1.7 (ApkMirror): Lightweight Google browser to perform quick Google searches. Need to lower DPI to get past initial language screen after install.

    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.
    12/10/2022 UPDATE: Samsung browser or this are really your best options. In case you need the Samsung Browser APK for Wear OS, here it is: Samsung Internet Browser (Wear OS)

    ***Messenger Lite v25 (ApkMirror): Very convenient app to have if you use Messenger often. This app gives you full Messenger functionality for your wrist. Period. Stick to low versions due to clutter in later versions makes it impossible to tap on chat bar to write a message.
    Note: Just verified that version 25 is an excellent version for watch screen (12/10/2022). If you have issues getting past 2FA, try to login on watch and then go to your Facebook notifications on phone to approve unrecognized device. Next time you try to log in on watch it should skip the 2FA.

    ***Facebook Messenger (Wear OS) (ApkMirror): Official Wear OS implementation for Messenger. This is not a launchable application. It functions as a bridge so when you receive a Messenger notification on Watch from phone, pressing the "open app" button will launch a convenient conversation window to message back and forth. Only accessible through existing notifications.

    ***Facebook Lite v39 (ApkMirror): This version works good. Tested on 12/10/2022. Very simple and clear. As soon as you login on your watch, open up Facebook settings and turn on Dark Mode and Data Saver Mode. Then go into Media under settings menu and turn off Autoplay. If you want a little better visibility, in the settings menu there's a font size option, set it to small. This app also includes it's own Messenger Lite interface built into it that can be used for sending and receiving messages.

    YouTube Go v1.22.54 (ApkMirror):
    NOTE: Reports that since YouTube Go has been discontinued, this no longer works.

    ***Google News v5.7 (ApkMirror): This is the probably the only reliable News option for Smart Watches. It looks good and works well. You can set dark mode if you launch settings (upper right corner) and while in the settings menu, lower the DPI to 200. Doing this will also show data saver.
    Update 12/18/2022 - Great News!! Found a version that still works. Turns out, v5.7 is the ONLY VERSION that works. Anything above 5.7 crashes on watch and anything below forces update.

    Google Translator (Google Drive): This is the old Translator app that used to come installed on Google Wear OS watches.

    ***Google Phone (Wear OS) (Google Drive)(ApkMirror): Google's own phone app used on other Wear OS watches isn't available to Galaxy Watches on the Play Store due to Samsung wanting us to use Samsung Phone I'd imagine. However, the app can be sideloaded and works perfectly. If you use Google Phone app on your phone then I suggest sideloading the app on your watch as well and setting it as your default phone app.
    NOTE: Due to the Pixel Watch version of Google Phone lacking functionality on Galaxy Watches, I linked the older Google Phone app. Does all the same things with a different UI. If you're interested in the Pixel Watch version of Google Phone, you can find it in the link below.
    PIXEL WATCH VERSION - Phone By Google (Wear OS) (Buggy on Galaxy Watches)


    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 Galaxy Watches.
    UPDATE 10/6/2022: Official Google Home app now available on Wear OS Play Store as a pre-install.
    UPDATE 12/11/2022: Currently, still only a preview version is out which doesn't include much functionality other than launching directly to phone. Not ready to write the workaround off yet.

    ***Google Files (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.

    Google Calendar (ApkMirror): There are plenty of calendar apps available for Wear OS that include syncing with Google Calendar. However, if you want the real deal, it does work on Galaxy Watches with any of the recent versions. It crashes a few times when you first launch it, but then it seems to work fine once it's cached making it not the most stable option. However, all features are functional and it doesn't look too bad either. Dark mode available in settings manually.

    ***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. Must upgrade to premium version for functionality.
    Note: Confirmed as of 12/12/2022 that this app is still fully functional in standalone or companion mode despite being dropped by developer.

    USE AT YOUR OWN RISK
    Cloud Access Disabled
    Wear Messages
    Wear Photos
    Wear Videos
    Wear Calendar

    Wear Documents
    ***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 (Github): Button remapping for Galaxy Watches using Logcat. This newer version requires that you grant android.permission.READ_LOGS so that it can pull button presses from Logcat instead of launching over other apps. It can Remap both hardware keys to launch any application you want. There's a short delay between pressing and launching however. See link below for guide on using this. Despite the name, it does work on Galaxy Watch 5.
    INSTALL GUIDE
    Source: XDA
    SPayToGPay (XDA / Github): If you live in a region that doesn't have Samsung Pay, use this version to launch Google Pay using hardware key long press.
    Discord v89.11 (ApkMirror): Works good enough to use on watch but it isn't ideal for round screens given it's layout. However, if you need a Discord option for your watch, look no further.
    NOTE: If you run into captcha or other login issues, check out the workaround HERE. To summarize, while your watch and phone are connected, log into Discord on the web to trigger captcha using phone. After verifying with phone, you should be able to log into Discord on watch without triggering a captcha verification.

    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.

    ***zFont 3 - Any Custom Font (Play Store): zFont 3 is an app commonly used to trick Android devices into setting any custom font file as the default font. The same can be done on watches but no need to follow all the workarounds needed for phones since watches don't have any security protocols blocking custom fonts. Basically zFont will take a font file and turn it into an APK format for sideloading. Here's the steps to set a custom font on your watch:
    1. Download and install zFont 3 on phone HERE.
    2. Import your font file into zFont using their custom font wizard. Google Fonts is a giant open source option for custom fonts that can be downloaded for free (.ttf).
    3. Follow the instructions but ignore the part about backup and restore through Samsung Cloud. You just need the custom SamsungSans(zFont).apk file that is downloaded after you uninstall the regular Samsung Sans.
    4. Once you have that APK installed, use a third party app to find and extract the APK from your installed apps like this application. Gemini Man can also do this (see below). Sideload it directly to your watch.
    5. On watch, go to Settings > Display > Font > Set font to your custom sideload that contains your custom font. Done.
    Sideload ready Google Sans fonts:
    Regular - DOWNLOAD
    Bold - DOWNLOAD
    My personal favorite, Product Sans Black ready to be sideloaded: DOWNLOAD

    The Google Sans are under the guise "CircleRounded" so you can only have bold or regular installed at 1 time. Product Sans is under the guise "SamsungSans".

    User Recommendations:
    1. Google Voice
    2. Google Chat (Workplace)
    3. WhatsApp (GUIDE)

    Side Loading Applications
    Below are a few applications designed specifically to streamline the ADB process for Wear OS so that even beginner's or non-tech savvy people can make use of sideloading applications, uninstalling bloatware, and sending commands to watch:
    GeminiMan Wear OS Manager (Play Store): This is an extremely useful app by @Dante63. It's essentially an app that simplifies any ADB related function for your smart watch. It allows you to sideload or debloat apps by selecting from the list of installed apps or apk's directly. Also includes an interface for sending custom commands to watch with an option to save commands for quick access. I was able to debloat and sideload everything I wanted on a freshly installed Galaxy Watch 5 within 10 minutes thanks to this app. PM @Dante63 directly with questions, feedback, or suggestions. You can accomplish any ADB related operation to Wear OS using this app. It smartly includes a reinstall option if you debloat something you shouldn't have.
    Wear Installer 2 (Play Store): This is the easiest app available for sideloading apps to Wear OS. It dumbs it down to the point where you never have to enter a command since it doesn't have a manual command input. Also includes ability to modify the screen density so that you can get past the initial setup in some sideloaded apps. In my experience, this is the best and most stable app available when it comes to just sideloading.
    Bugjaeger (Play Store): This app is an all inclusive ADB app designed for Android devices. This is my go-to option for ADB operations on my phone. However, it can pair to Galaxy Watch 5 using the Wireless Debugging option with a six digit pairing code and port number. This application isn't easy to use like the first two options but includes more advanced operations. Free and premium version available in Play Store.
    COMMON ADB COMMANDS
    Change DPI
    wm density xxx
    Display Current DPI
    wm density
    Reset DPI
    wm density reset
    Install App
    -e install <filename.apk>
    Uninstall App
    pm uninstall -k --user 0 <package_name>
    Reinstall Debloated System Apps

    pm install-existing <package_name>
    Customize Font Size
    settings put system font_scale x.xx


    APK Version Selection
    The best place to download various unmodified versions of any application is ApkMirror. Some APK versions have multiple variants available. Only architecture (Arch) "armeabi-v7a" is compatible with Galaxy Watches. If it's listed as "Universal" then the manifest includes support for all architectures but uses up more storage to compensate. The more modern "armabi-v8a" is not compatible with Galaxy Watches and will crash if you try to launch it. Older versions typically look and run better on smart watches due to less cluttering and memory usage. With smart watches, less is more.

    Last updated on 1/11/2023
    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 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.
    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