Google on Tuesday added Apple Watch compatibility to its News & Weather iOS app, the first of what is expected to be many Google product updates designed to nab screen real estate on Apple's new wearable device.
The aptly named Google News & Weather app brings aggregated news and local climate reports to iPhone and iPad, but for Watch appears limited to the latest headlines.
Setup is a simple process of logging in with a Google account — or anonymously in guest mode — and activating location access for local news. The app's Watch version mirrors a list of the top ten headlines as displayed on iPhone, pulling from personalized categories either curated by Google or set up by the user. Small thumbnail photos accompany most stories, though image quality is expectedly poor.
Unlike other news apps, News & Weather leaves out deeper functionality like article summaries, snippets, full text access or the ability to edit and change sources on-device. Apple Watch Glances are supported, but again utility is limited to only a single top story.
Google attempts to make use of Force Touch, with a hard press activating an option to add articles to Safari's Reading List for later perusal. With its full-fledged iOS apps, Google normally passes off specialized processes within its own iOS ecosystem, which in this case would be the Chrome Web browser, suggesting Apple has limited Watch syncing operations to first-party titles.
While not yet announced, Google is widely expected to update other apps in its stable, including Gmail, Hangouts and more, in a bid to build a presence on what has quickly become the world's most sought after wearable.
Google News & Weather is a free 12.9MB download from the iOS App Store.