The Google Play Store is notorious for making it difficult to find apps optimized for non-phone devices —you’ve often had to guess and hope for the best. Now, however, it just involves a couple of taps. Google says it recently added Play Store home pages to its Android app with recommendations for Android Automotive, Android TV and Wear OS apps. Visit “other devices” and you can find a health tracker for your Galaxy Watch 5, or a video service for your Chromecast.
New search filters also limit results to those that support non-phone hardware. If you find something you like, you can remotely install it from your handset. Google also noted that it previously revised the Play Store website to improve navigation and features like remote installs.
The move follows efforts to accommodate tablet users, and could be helpful if you can’t (or just don’t want to) search for apps on the device where you’ll use them. That’s particularly helpful for Wear OS users who might have to browse apps on a tiny screen. You might find more apps for your devices and (as Google no doubt hopes) increase your chances of sticking to the Android ecosystem.
It’s also difficult to ignore the timing. Google is formally debuting the Pixel Watch at its New York City event on October 6th, and just revamped the 1080p Chromecast. The improved app discovery could help sell these products to customers wondering if their favorite app is available. Not that you’ll likely mind if you prefer third-party gear — this might boost Android as a whole.
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