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Google's Android Wear may have a serious paid app problem

Android Wear Moto 360
Buy the watch, then...

It seems everyone has had an unfortunate run-in with digital rights management (DRM) at one time or another, and now Android Wear users are having theirs.

Early adopters of Google's smartwatch standard have found that paid apps simply don't work on Android Wear devices, according to Android Police.

Currently there are no standalone apps for Android Wear devices; apps with Wear features need to be downloaded to an Android phone, which then sends the relevant part of the app to the smartwatch via Bluetooth.

Unfortunately, it appears the encryption keys that are sent to an Android phone when a paid app is downloaded from Google Play aren't making it over to the smartwatch.

A strange oversight

This means Android Wear devices that receive app data from smartphones have no way to decrypt that data unless the app was free to begin with.

One solution is for developers to make their Android Wear-compatible apps free, though obviously that's not ideal.

It's definitely still early in the saga of Android Wear, but this is a strange oversight that should definitely have been caught before now.

We've asked Google when the bug might be fixed, and we'll update this story if we hear back.

Via Ars Technica