An update to Play Music is now available with the release of version 8.5. The changes don't include the same visual refresh that Play Music for Android TV received, but some cosmetic changes were in the works with adaptive icons for app shortcuts being fixed with this update. The application also shrunk in size, losing about 2MB after unbundling the Wear app.
Play Music has some of the most useful shortcut options for quick navigation and accessing content. Instead of being brought to the main landing page with recommendations for new music, users can access their library or recents with a single tap. If you were running Android Oreo, you may have noticed the adaptive icons having a weird halo look. That's if you could actually see them since they were so small in v8.0. Play Music v8.5 corrects this issue with properly sized icons and crisper backgrounds.
Play Music's 13% size decrease is due to Google's recent announcement that a new model had been developed which allows Wear 1.0 to be unbundled from APKs. In the early stages of Android Wear, companion applications were distributed as part of the APKs intended for smartphones.
This model proved to be problematic, so when Wear 2.0 released, apps began to get distributed independently through the Google Play Store. However, if developers wanted to support older smartwatches, they had to bundle microAPKs. The Wear micro APK has now been dropped since it was only present to support watches which would never upgrade to 2.0
Older watches running Wear 1.5 shouldn't notice a change, and since apps are downloaded to the watch automatically from the Play Store, the experience will be the same.
If you're interested in downloading the latest version of the Play Music app, rather than waiting on Google to push it to your device, you can download it here. Drop a comment below and let us know what you think of v8.5.