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):
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) (ApkMirror):
Google's own phone app used on Pixel 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.
Google Home v126.96.36.199 (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.
***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.
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.
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:
- Download and install zFont 3 on phone HERE.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
Side Loading Applications
- Google Voice
- Google Chat (Workplace)
- WhatsApp (GUIDE)
Below are a couple 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 XDA Senior Member @Dante63
. It's essentially a very polished ADB UI. Allows you to sideload or debloat apps by selecting from a 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. Includes a free and premium version.
COMMON ADB COMMANDS
wm density xxx
Display Current DPI
wm density reset
-e install <filename.apk>
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 apk is ApkMirror. Some APK versions have multiple variants available. Only armeabi-v7a "Arch" types work on Galaxy Watches. If it says universal then it usually means the manifest includes support for all architectures, using more storage as the drawback. armabi-v8a is not compatible!
Last updated on 12/28/2022