The Android Wear app, used to connect Wear smartwatches with Android phones, has passed the 5 million download milestone. Yesterday, Google Play showed the app as between “1,000,000 – 5,000,000” installs, while today it states “5,000,000 – 10,000,000.” For those keeping track, Android Wear passed the 1 million milestone in March 2015.
Since Google doesn’t share the exact number of Android Wear devices actively in use, or even sold, this range is the best estimate we have for tracking Android Wear growth. While Google can track how many Android phones with Google Play services are bought and activated (though it naturally can’t track Android devices that don’t ship with its services, such as Kindle products), most Android Wear watches are simply extensions of an Android phone, so tracking their activation and use is more difficult.
To be clear, the new number revealed today is for downloads and installs, not sales. That means the number is not for unique users: Some downloads may be the result of switching phones, some downloads may have occurred but the devices aren’t used anymore, and some re-downloading may have happened for other reasons.
In other words, Android Wear probably doesn’t have 5 million active users. But the number is now much closer to 5 million than to 1 million.
This is notable if you consider that IDC estimates Android Wear will see some 6.1 million units shipped in 2016 alone. The platform may not have taken off as Google might have hoped — this is why the company isn’t sharing numbers publicly and why we have to rely on estimates provided on Google Play and by third parties.
Still, as the wearables market grows, Android Wear is expected to grow with it. And Google continues to invest in the platform.
The company unveiled Android Wear 2.0, which features a new design and standalone apps, at its I/O 2016 developer conference in May. And there are many new Android Wear watches in the pipeline, including rumored ones supporting Google Assistant.
We have contacted Google for more information about the milestone. We will update you if we hear back.