Paid Android Wear Apps Don’t Work, Thanks to DRM
With smartwatches running Android Wear slowly starting to trickle out into the world, developers are coming to grips with Google’s new wearable platform. In doing so, they have found one of its first big bugs: paid apps don’t work.
It still requires a phone, but there’s no better way to deal with notifications.
Currently, there’s no such thing as a “standalone Wear app.” Watch apps must be downloaded by a phone using the Play Store and include an Android Wear component. After installing the phone app locally, the phone sends the Wear component to the watch over a Bluetooth connection.
Paid Android apps are encrypted, with the encryption key obtained from the Play Store and passed to the phone. But according to a report from Android Police, the key does not currently get passed to the watch. With no way to decrypt the packages, the watch fails to install encrypted wearable apps. The only current workaround is not to charge for the app, which removes the Play Store’s encryption.