Image source: Google

Google Wear OS user interface gets massive refresh

Google is releasing a much needed revamp of its Wear OS smartwatch user interface. The changes provide for quicker access to Assistant, health and notifications. The timing is no coincidence. With IFA in Berlin kicking off, we are expecting lots of Wear OS wearable announcements.

Essential readingTop fitness trackers and health gadgets

Last week, the company said it is ditching step count in favour of new, healthier metrics. In collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the American Heart Association (AHA) Google has introduced a pair of new goals called Move Minutes and Heart Points. With the new design, you can simply swipe left to start a workout or see how you are tracking toward these new goals.

The revamped interface is in essence designed to work a lot more like an Android phone. For example, you are now able to view multiple alerts at the same time courtasy of a new notification stream. Simply swipe up to see stream. Each message will show a miniature icon, app name and a time stamp. You can then dismiss notifications by swiping horizontally or tap on them to reveal smart replies. Swiping down on the watch face will open up other features and shortcuts such as Google Pay or ‘Find my phone’.

Finally, swiping right on the watch will take you to the Google Assistant feed. These could be recommendations or smart suggestions such as seeing the status of your flight, finding a hotel reservation, getting restaurant suggestions or checking the weather. The Assistant is designed to be much more proactive and the contextual feedback aims to make it more helpful.

The features will begin rolling out over the next month, so look out for the update. Google says if a watch is running Android Wear 2.0, it will be getting this redesign. The only Wear OS watches that will not benefit from the upgrade are Samsung Gear Live, LG G Watch, Sony Smartwatch 3, Moto 350 (2014) and Asus ZenWatch (v1).

Now all that’s left is official confirmation of the Google Pixel smartwatch!

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