You know the saying, “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it?” If something is already working—then why alter or make it different? Sometimes that’s how I feel about technology. And that’s exactly how I feel about the upgrade from Android Wear 1x to 2.0.
For one, the process for adding watch faces is about twice as much work, whereas changing them is almost too easy (an accidental swipe and you have a new watch face whether you want it or not). Half of the battle in making these things easier and better is knowing how 2.0 works, and the other half is knowing how to handle it when it doesn’t.
So today we will be focusing on the problem of Android Wear watch faces not showing on your device after you have installed them.
Must Read: Android Smart Watch: The Ultimate Guide
Method 1: Install from Play Store on Your Watch or Browser
The bright side is that your watch can function independently of your phone.
1. Slide to See Apps on Watch
You can choose which apps you want on your watch separately from what’s on your phone.
2. Scroll Down to Google Play Store
You can also go to the Google Play website in your browser and find the app(s) you want installed on your watch.
3. Search for Apps
It’s not a given that all of your phone apps will have compatible Wear counterparts. To see which ones do, scroll down on the Play Store home page.
Be patient, as this can take time.
Method 2: Basic Fixes
Why go overboard if a simple solution will do the trick?
1. Check to Ensure You Have a Strong Connection
If this is an installation issue, make sure your Internet connection is adequate.
2. Reboot Both Your Phone & Watch
Turn your Android off, then switch it back on. Do the same with your watch. The instructions on how to do this vary by type of watch; but for example, on the Moto 360 (2nd Gen) you would swipe left on the watch face, scroll down and press Settings > Power Off.
3. Resync Apps
Ensure that your smart watch is paired with your phone. Also, make sure you have the latest version of Android Wear installed to your phone. In Android Wear, and from your phone, go to Settings. The icon looks like a gear.
Tap on the name of your device to access more settings. If you tap Resync apps from here all of the apps on your smartwatch will be resynced. You should receive a notification advising you that this has been done. Even if you are the one developing the APK, you might still benefit from this step. It’s one of the top ways to fix Android Wear watch faces that aren’t showing.
4. Uninstall & Reinstall Apps From Play Store
Sometimes even if re-syncing doesn’t work, re-installation will.
5. Reach Out to App Developer
Many apps include contact info, or a Help & Feedback feature.
6. Make Sure Watch has Updates
Ensure that your watch is connected to Wi-Fi and has a Google account. From Settings on your watch, tap the about symbol (circle with a lowercase i). Scroll down, and then tap System Updates if available. If you receive a notification that your system is already up-to-date, just proceed to the next step.
7. Install Previous Version of App
Some users have reported success by getting a hold of the previous APK version of the app in question, but this is an imperfect fix.
Method 3: Intermediate Fixes
The following methods either require a few more steps than the more basic approaches or are generally more involved.
1. Clear Google Play Services Cache & Data
Go to Settings > Apps > Google Play Services > Clear Cache > Manage Space > Manage Wearable Storage > Clear Now. Beneath Total Data used by Google Play Services, tap Clear all data and reboot.
2. Disconnect, Turn Off, Uninstall & Do It All Over Again
Go to the Wear app on your watch and disconnect. Turn your watch off and uninstall the watch faces in question. Now you’ll basically undo everything you just did—turn the watch back on, reconnect, and try installing watch faces incrementally. Resync any that do not appear.
3. Update these Apps
Ideally, it’s best to have all of your apps up-to-date, but for this problem, you’ll want to pay special attention to Google Play Services, Google Search, and Android Wear (Wear OS).
4. Reset Android Wear Environment on Watch
From Settings, unpair with phone.
5. Reset Android Wear Environment on Phone
From the Android Wear app, tap on Disconnect. Then go to Settings > Device Settings and find your watch. Tap Forget Watch, and make sure you no longer see it in your Bluetooth Settings. Clear cache and data and uninstall any updates for Google Play Services, Google app, and Android Wear. Go into the Play Store menu, select My apps & games, and update all.
Method 4: Advanced Techniques
Whether you live in China or just like to use custom ROMs, here are some more advanced methods to get you what you want.
1. Downgrade Firmware
Some have found relief from the downfalls on 2.0 by going back to previous versions of Android Wear. You will need to be able to flash some firmware, whether through Odin for Samsung devices or by sideloading through ADB in recovery. You will also need the firmware specific to your device, and possibly a password to extract the files. Fortunately, these can often be found by conducting a specific search. Be sure to reboot when you are done.
2. Use VPN to Access Google Play
This method will help if you live somewhere like China, where Google Play is blocked, but still want access to the best apps there are on Android Wear. It may also help if you receive an error message such as: This app is not compatible with any of your devices. Connect to a VPN server in the country of your choice, and go into the Google Play Store app. Clear data for any downloaded apps, then relaunch.
3. Sideload APKs via ADB
Sideloading apps enables you to install apps that are either not available in Google Play or not listed compatible for your device. Keep in mind that many apps won’t work well with the smaller screen. If you’ve followed the previous step to downgrade your firmware, sideloaded apps can work independently on 1.5 also. To prepare, you will need to enable Developer Options on your watch and install ADB on your computer.
Connect your watch to the same Wi-Fi network as your computer. On Windows, ensure your platform tools on in the C drive, and then copy your APK files into that same folder. Open a command window, and type .\adb connect (your IP address). Once you are connected, type the command: .\adb install (your APK name)
Download: 15 Seconds ADB Installer via XDA
4. Factory Reset
Go to Settings > Unpair with Phone and tap the checkmark to confirm you want to reset. The notion of a factory reset often makes people shudder, but it’s an effective way to fix Android Wear watch faces not showing.
Method 5: App-Specific Advice
If it’s a particular app you are struggling with, we have some specific advice.
1. For Facer:
Uninstall both Android Wear and Facer. Install Facer from Google Play via browser to phone. Set up Facer again.
2. For Google Play Music:
Particularly on the LG Watch Sport, users have had trouble installing and/or finding Play Music. If you have ever used Google Play Music on a different device, one workaround is to open the Play Store on your watch and go to Apps You’ve Used. Install Google Play Music from here.
3. For Google Fit:
If you suddenly find your heart rate not showing on Google Fit, try installing the Heart Trace app below. It links to Google Fit.
Download: Heart Trace
4. For Zenwatch 3: Zenwatch Manager Unable to Load Customized Faces:
You should be able to go to Settings > Zenwatch Manager to pick out custom display options. Instead, many users have been experiencing a never-ending Loading screen. The solution that most consistently solves this is to roll back to a previous version of the app. Others have gained relief by updating the app, so it’s a mixed bag.
5. For WatchMaker (Imperfect Fix):
If you are encountering blank faces and have multiple layers (i.e. numbers, text, etc.) try removing one layer.
6. For Pujie Black Watch Face:
Some users recommend installing previous versions of the app.
Method 6: Specific Features Not Showing
You should be receiving every notification from your apps on your wrist. So why aren’t you?
1. Check App Access
Navigate to Settings > Apps > App Settings > Special Access > Notification Access. Make sure it’s toggled on.
2. Set Notification Priorities for Notifications Preview
There are three types of notification alerts available on Android Wear 2.0: High, Normal, and Low. To ensure that your watch’s settings aren’t set to Low, go to Settings > Sounds & Notifications > Notifications Previews. The Low setting disables notification previews entirely. You have to view notifications manually.
3. Resync Apps
Open Android Wear on your phone. Go to Settings. The icon looks like a gear. Tap on the name of your device to access more settings. Scroll down to tap Resync apps.
4. Restart Phone & Watch
You can restart your watch through Settings.
5. For iPhone Users: Check Compatibility
Remember that you can sideload apps, but that doesn’t mean all of their features will work. That’s even the case for a lot of compatible apps.
6. Check App Permissions
Go to phone Settings > Application Manager > Android Wear > App Settings > Permissions. Grant permission to Contacts, Calendar, Phone, Location, Storage, and SMS. Go back to App Settings > Notifications and activate Allow Notifications and Set as Priority.
A lot changed with Android Wear 2.0, and it can definitely take some getting used to and working out kinks. Not everyone is a fan. Hopefully these tips make it a little easier on you, and have fixed Android Wear watch faces not showing.
What has helped you fix Android Wear watch faces not showing? Let us know in the comments! Still struggling? Just comment and we’ll help you out!