Google workaround finally lets Android Wear users install paid apps


Google has issued a workaround that finally allows Android Wear users to install paid applications on their new wearables. It comes days after early adopters of the LG G Watch and the Samsung Gear Live discovered that they could only install free Android Wear apps on their devices due to a Play Store security feature meant to curb piracy.

Android Police reports that Google’s encryption of paid Play Store apps — which is designed to prevent them from being pirated — makes it “impossible to extract and install any micro-apps contained within the apk” of an Android app.

The Android Wear component that is packaged inside them, then — and designed to be installed on an Android Wear device automatically when it’s connected to your smartphone — cannot be unpackaged and transferred during the installation process. But Google has now issued a workaround.

Unfortunately, this isn’t a workaround for the user. Google has advised app developers to relocate the Android Wear micro APK packaged inside their apps to a different folder, making it accessible to the Wear installer. It’s not the most seamless fix, but it is the most effective for now.

Google is planning to make changes to the installation process in the future to eliminate this problem, the search giant confirmed in a blog post. It’s unclear why this wasn’t done before the platform shipped. Until then, users will need to await the above fix from app developers before they can enjoy paid Android Wear apps.