On Android Wear 2.0, apps from your phone no longer sync to your watch automatically. But not all apps available for Wear show up in Play Store search results, making it hard to find everything that’s on your phone.

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If you’re an old-school Wear user, you remember how things used to be: install the Wear app, pair your watch, then wait however it long it took for all your apps to sync from the phone to the watch. Time consuming, but simple.

On Wear 2.0, however, it doesn’t work this way. Instead of all available apps syncing from your phone automatically, the watch works as more of a standalone product, complete with its own version of the Play Store. You can search for apps using your voice, and then install them as you go. While not quite as convenient for getting everything set up, I like this granular approach better because you can control which apps are on your watch. There’s no more taking up space on your watch just because you have somehting installed on your phone.

There is one major issue, though. Just because an app is on your phone doesn’t mean it’ll show up in Wear’s Play Store search results. Case in point: Google Keep. If you search the Wear Play Store for Keep, it doesn’t show up. If you look at Keep’s Play Store page, it doesn’t even show that it’s compatible with Android Wear. Keep’s Wear app has always been super useful, so what gives?

It’s unclear why, but many of the apps already installed on your phone show up in a different location in Android Wear’s Play Store. To make things even more confusing, many of these won’t display in normal search results. Again, Keep is a perfect example. It’s available on the watch, but you have get it in a different way. It’s absolutely moronic.

To find apps like Keep, fire up the Play Store on your watch. Instead of searching or choosing one of the categories, scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page. You’ll see a section titled “Apps on your phone.”

Anything that’s on your phone, is also available for Android Wear, and is not already installed on your watch shows up here. This included many things you can’t find with a traditional search. It took me longer than I care to admit to find this, all while really missing Keep on my watch. But there it is, ready to be installed.

Tap the install button just to the right of the app’s name, and a minute or so later it’ll be ready to roll.

While Keep was the main app I wanted back on my watch, you might be surprised at other Wear-compatible apps you’ll find on this list and didn’t even know about. I’m not sure why these apps don’t also show up in search results, but at least there’s a way to get them.

Profile Photo for Cameron Summerson Cameron Summerson
Cameron Summerson is ex-Editor-in-Chief of Review Geek and served as an Editorial Advisor for How-To Geek and LifeSavvy. He covered technology for a decade and wrote over 4,000 articles and hundreds of product reviews in that time. He’s been published in print magazines and quoted as a smartphone expert in the New York Times.
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