Every day, independent developers post new apps or games on our forums as well as various other online platforms. In fact, there are so many releases each day that finding a truly unique and fascinating app can be like looking for a needle in a haystack, but that’s exactly what we’ve done today. A developer named Malcolm Bryant has come up with a really innovative solution to the problem of sideloading apps on Wear OS devices. Called “Wear Installer,” the app lets you save your legacy Wear OS apps and sideload them on your watch without any hassle.
Before we start, here’s a quick refresher of Google’s latest policy on the Wear OS app model: The company wants to decouple Wear OS apps from regular Android apps starting March 10, which in turn severely limits the app sideloading capability. Malcolm, AKA Reddit user u/malbry, first highlighted the issue and is now back with a quick fix in the form of Wear Installer. Although it is still possible to use the Android Debug Bridge (ADB) to sideload apps on a Wear OS device, Wear Installer takes a slightly different, admittedly better, approach to streamline the installation process.
How to use Wear Installer to sideload Wear OS apps
Instead of relying on an external PC/Mac for accessing Android Debug Bridge, Wear Installer comes with its own ADB instance. Moreover, the app can extract the embedded Wear OS-compatible APK components from legacy phone apps. As a result, you just need to sideload the Wear Installer APK on your phone so the app can communicate with your smartwatch via ADB and remotely sideload any app! It also allows you to sideload valid Wear OS APKs from the Download directory on your phone.
The easiest way to understand the brilliance of this app is by watching a quick demo: