Google Revamps the Wear OS Smartwatch
If you own one of the newer Wear OS watches, you can look forward to a software update happening soon that will change the way your watch face works when you swipe it.
Alongside a new UI, Google has also decided to add a new information feed from Google Assistant, quicker access to Google Fit, and a view of your notifications that is more information dense.
What You’ve Got to Look Forward To
It’s a clean up that’s been a long time coming, and one which refines the big changes that came in Android Wear, or the Wear OS 2.0 switch watch faces. That update changed a lot of stuff in order to make it easier to access apps and switch watch faces, but it also felt like quite a big step backwards in terms of reading notifications.
Currently you can swipe right or left to change watch faces, but when the new update becomes available, these gestures will map to new things, and you will need to long press if you want to change your watch face.
Swipe Right: Google Assistant Info Feed
The most important change is this one. It has been designed to show you relevant info about your day, like details from your calendar, information on any package you are tracking, and the weather.
Sure, you can’t enjoy Melbourne Cup betting from your watch just yet, but things are getting a lot better, and who knows how far off into the future that may be!
Similar to Siri
The Google Assistant information feed is very similar to the Siri watchvface on the Apple Watch, as well as the Visual Snapshot feature that was recently made available on the Google Assistant on smartphones.
But on both Android and iOS, this feature is buried under a bewildering button. It’s perhaps most similar to the highly touted Google Now, which was supposed to give you predictive info cards regarding your day.
There is no information currently available on what Google is calling this feed, and it has just been referring to the info as Proactive Help.
The company seems to be focussed on pushing Google Assistant more generally that creating any kind of brand identifier on this feed.
Swipe Left: New Fitness-Tracking Rings for Google Fit
If you now swipe left you will be taken to the new interface for Google Fit, which reveals the two new rings that have been created by Google to track your health.
One is Heart Points, the other Move Minutes.
Swipe Up: Notifications
Next up are notifications, which operate essentially the same as they did before, mirroring what’s on your phone. Dismissing a notification on your watch will do so on your phone as well, and a lot of apps will let you create a quick reply with suggested clips.
But the finest aspect of this feature is that Google is returning to a display that is more information-dense and puts all notifications on a single pane which you can scroll instead of having each one fill the whole screen.
Swipe Down: Revamped Quick Settings Pane
Two much-requested buttons have been added to the Quick Settings pane: one to find your phone, and the other for Google Pay.
Wear OS come with NFC now as well, and the latter will ensure that the chip is on and ready to make a payment when you head to the point-of-sale terminal.