Apps destined for Google’s Wear OS platform will have to pass a mandatory review process from October 1, 2018. New apps submitted after this time will be required to meet several guidelines related to function, design, and user interaction.
“To ensure a great user experience, apps for wearables must meet specific requirements for usability. Only apps that meet the following quality criteria will qualify as a Wear OS app on Google Play. Qualifying as a Wear OS app will make it easier for those using wearables to discover your app on Google Play.”
Google introduced these stricter guidelines recently, but developers were not forced to follow them. This will change after October. Apps that are already available for Wear OS will also have to follow the new rules, and have until March 2019 to implement any changes needed.
The new review process is designed to increase the quality and presentation of Wear OS apps in the Google Play Store. The original, optional reference guide is available to view here.