Google Maps and Keep support WearOS 2 again after temporary removal [U]

In recent months, Google has rolled out a Material You redesign and tile for Keep on Wear OS. Around that time, Google Keep looks to have dropped support for older Wear OS 2 devices.

Update 12/1: Like with Maps, an older version (5.22.362.00.97 vs. 5.22.452.00.97) of Google Keep is now available for Wear OS 2.

Google tells us that the two apps were only “temporarily removed” last week, while recent updates to Keep and Maps are meant for Wear OS 3.

Update 11/30: Google Maps has regained Wear OS 2 support with an older version 10.43.2 (versus 11.56.0101.W on Wear OS 3) in an interesting reversal.

Update 11/25: Google Maps is another big app that now “Does not work on your device” running Wear OS 2/Android 9. This is more of a problem for owners resetting their watches, with existing downloads continuing to work.

These old devices also never got the new Google Home or Contacts, while the updated Assistant, Phone, and Weather are limited to Wear OS 3.

Original 11/24: Currently, searching for Google Keep in the Play Store using a Wear OS 2 watch does not show the app. Visiting from the web/mobile listing and looking at the “Compatibility for your active devices” list says the application “Does not work on your device.”

On a Pixel Watch, version 5.22.452.00.97 is the latest with “Android 11 and up” listed as the requirement.

A user spotted this removal today, and we’ve confirmed it on a Wear OS 2 device that’s not set to receive an update to Wear OS 3. It’s not clear when support was pulled, but it could have coincided with the Material You revamp that greatly modernized everything. The yellow accent color was removed, while pill-shaped containers are used everywhere.

That revamp arrived in September just after a tile to quickly create notes or list was introduced. (That tile later received a Material You overhaul, but do note — sorry — how the text of the “Browse” button is not vertically aligned. For some reason, the tile preview is correctly centered, but the actual tile is not. Meanwhile, the Apple Watch app has not seen any updates and is still using the pre-Google Workspace icon.)

Google Keep Wear Os Old 1
Google Keep Wear Os Old 3
Google Keep Wear Os Old 5
Google Keep Wear Os Redesign
Google Keep Wear Os Redesign
Google Keep Wear Os Redesign

While it’s not surprising the redesign is just for Wear OS 3, removing legacy support is somewhat unfortunate. While there are more Wear OS 3 devices than ever from the Pixel Watch to Galaxy Watch 5/4 and Fossil Gen 6, the active Wear OS 2 user base is likely not insignificant, even if it’s just those awaiting updates.

Looking at a Wear OS 2 device today, the following first-party apps are available: Google, Gboard, Fit, Wallet, Messages, Camera, Clock, Wear OS by Google Smartwatch, and YouTube Music. Existing Wear OS 2 users that have Keep already installed should not be impacted, but app availability/support should be considered when resetting wearable going forward.

More on Google Keep:

  • Here’s dual pane Google Keep on Chromebooks, but it’s hard to find on tablets & foldables
  • Workspace branding comes to Keep and other Android apps
  • Google optimizing widgets for Android tablets, starting with Drive and Keep

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