In order to give its wearable (read: smartwatch) operating system more of a chance against WatchOS, Google is updating its Wear OS with some substantial UI overhauls. It is the third major update that Google has brought to the platform, to-date.
The new Wear OS also returns to the first-generation of the Wear OS in some ways. In Wear OS 2.0, when you swipe to the left or right, you change watch faces. In the future, the same thing will happen through long presses instead.
Google is making things that are more commonly used on the Watch easier to access. All you need to do is swipe left, right, up or down to access the important stuff.
Here’s how it works:
When you swipe left, you’ll now see the new Google Fit app with your results for the day illustrated in the form of circular rings.
To the right is the Google Assistant, which can also be accessed for voice commands via long-pressing the buttons. The feed to the right also displays more relevant information like news and weather. Assistant clearly plays a bigger role in this version.
Downward, you get quick settings, with a few options for finding your phone and Google Pay added.
Notifications are accessed by swiping upwards, which is a faster way of getting to them. They are now richer in detail and can be scrolled through for further details.
The third generation of Wear OS will start hitting the current generation of smartwatches starting this September, with the list of supported watches yet to be unveiled. If we’re lucky, its launch could coincide with that of the much-awaited Pixel watch.