As mentioned a few weeks ago, Google’s upcoming Pixel Watch will likely have a massive impact on the smartwatch space. But in order for the device to be successful and drive the growth of the Wear OS smartwatch segment, Google has just released a new update to its wearable operating system. The fundamentals are still the same, but there are a few distinct changes which will make the platform more useful and intuitive.
The redesign of Wear OS becomes apparent when you swipe away from the main watch face. In the past, a left or right swipe would simply bring up the watch face switching interface, but now there are new features which come up. A swipe to the right now pulls up the Google Assistant feed which offers up weather, appointment, traffic and other information that’s pulled from your Google accounts (mainly Calendar and Gmail).
Swinging left pulls up the new Google Fit interface which has been completely redesigned with the new Google Fit update which rolled out a few weeks ago. A swipe from the top and the bottom still show you settings toggles and notifications, but the UI has been tweaked slightly to fit more content on the screen. This is especially helpful for notifications since you can see more than one notification at once. Changing the watch face can now be done by long-pressing on the current watch face which is more intuitive than the swipe left/right gesture which was previously in place.
Google plans to release the Wear OS update to most devices running Android Wear 2.0 and those that have already been updated to Wear OS sometime in September.