Most WearOS apps can be installed from the Google Play Store and this is the preferred method of installation. However some legacy and/or open source WearOS apps aren’t available in the Play Store. In these cases, Wear Installer 2 can help by transferring the watch component from your Android phone and installing it using something called the Android Debug Bridge, or ADB for short.
If you are having problems getting Wear Installer 2 working, please see below:
General best practice: if you are having problems, restart both your phone and your watch. Check that Wifi and Bluetooth are enabled on both your phone and your watch. Check that the WearOS app on your phone (or the Galaxy Wearable app if using a Galaxy Watch 4) is showing that your watch is connected to your phone. On your watch, check that you have enabled ‘ADB debugging’ and ‘Debug over wifi’ in the developer settings, as shown in the video. Some watches, for example Pixel Watch, have an extra setting ‘wireless debugging’ that needs to be turned on. Check that you have entered the correct ip address for the watch into the Wear Installer 2 phone app.
Extra steps for Pixel Watches and watches running WearOS 4: watches that have been reset after the March 2023 firmware update no longer connect on default port 5555. Please select ‘Pair with watch’ from the menu and follow the instructions there. Here is a YouTube video showing the new ADB pairing process.
Wear Installer 2 phone app says ‘Watch APK not found’ or similar: this message means that the phone app you are trying to install to your watch has not been built by the developer to include a watch component. You may be able to install the phone apk to your watch, but keep in mind that there may be issues with the display because of the small screen size.
Wear Installer 2 shows ‘could not connect to watch’: this message means that the phone and watch have been unable to connect over wifi. Re-check that you have correctly entered the watch’s ip address in the Wear Installer 2 phone app. Check that your phone has wifi turned on (the watch’s wifi will have been turned on when you set ADB debugging). Check that both phone and watch are reasonably close to your wifi router – note that the watch has a small aerial so it cannot connect to wifi over longer distances.
‘Connection failed’ message persists despite above checks: it can happen that your phone connects to a 5Ghz wifi network while your watch connects to a 2.4Ghz network. With most wifi routers this is not a problem, and Wear Installer 2 can still make a wifi connection between phone and watch. However some people have reported that temporarily turning off the 5Ghz band on their router forces phone and watch to connect to the 2.4Ghz network – and this resolves the ‘connection failed’ message that Wear Installer 2 reports.