Users can’t currently install paid Android Wear apps to their devices, news broke earlier this week, apparently due to an encryption problem. The issue is not very severe, simply because there aren’t many Android Wear apps right now and the first AW devices have only reached customers yesterday.
Still, it’s an embarrassing misstep for Google, at a time when the new platform needs strong developer engagement and premium apps that draw users in.
Now Google announced a relatively simple workaround that should let devs publish paid apps, until a proper solution comes along. In a post on its Developers blog, Google summarizes the problem and the workaround like this:
“We have a workaround to enable paid apps (and other apps that use Google Play’s forward-lock mechanism) on Android Wear. The assets/ directory of those apps, which contains the wearable APK, cannot be extracted or read by the wearable installer. The workaround is to place the wearable APK in the res/raw directory instead.”
The post offers a four-step guide on how to manually package paid apps, and Google says it will issue an update to the SDK build tools that will remove the need for the workaround.