Android Wear developers are grappling with the first major issue with Google's wearable platform, a bug that prevents users from downloading and installing paid apps into their Android Wear devices.

Google's Android Wear is one of its shiniest new products launched at its recently held I/O 2014 conference, but Android Police is now suspecting that Google has not fully tested the software and rushed its release in time for the conference. The glitch was first discovered by developers Daniel Ward, who developed a paid app that gives Android Wear users the ability to choose a custom watch face for their wearable devices, and a Reddit user named redthunda69 who created an app called Phone Finder that is supposed to do what its name implies.

The bug stems from Google's encryption of paid apps, which was introduced alongside Android Jelly Bean in 2012 to prevent pirates from breaking into paid apps by providing an encryption key that is specific to the app-buyer's phone. To download an Android Wear app, a user must download the main app from the Google Play Store first. Google then checks to see if the main app has an accompanying Android Wear app. If it does, the wearable app is then downloaded from the phone into the smartwatch via Bluetooth.

This works automatically and is the only way by which users can install apps into their Android Wear devices. For example, downloading the Calorie Counter app from the Play Store will prompt Google to check for an Android Wear micro-app, which will immediately download into the smartwatch from the phone using a Bluetooth connection.

Unfortunately, Google seems to have missed the fact that Android Wear currently does not know how to decrypt paid apps, resulting in its failure to download and install the apps into the device.

"It seems the Android Wear install process runs into a road block with paid apps because it doesn't know how to extract the file of the encrypted apk," Android Police explains. "Since the installer fails to recognize the payload, it assumes there is nothing to install and silently aborts."

Google has yet to address the issue but is expected to release bug fixes shortly. After all, the company wouldn't want to spoil its hottest new product so early into its release. Currently, the only workaround is for developers to offer their apps for free and make money by charging users for in-app purchases. It is not the most ideal fix, but it's the best developers can do until Google announces an update.

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