Google has previewed Wear OS 4 at Google I/O 2023. Here’s what you need to know about upcoming OS upgrades, Google app updates, and new third-party integrations.
The search giant’s smartwatch operating system was first introduced in 2014 as Android Wear. Over the years it has undergone significant development. Google has now given us a preview of its operating system’s future.
New features, third-party app integrations, longer battery life & more
Wear OS 4 will come with numerous new functions and app integrations intended to keep users connected, productive, and entertained. The next version of the operating system places a strong emphasis on customization, enabling users to personalise their smartwatch experience to suit their unique requirements and preferences.
The expansion of Google app features on smartwatches is one of the major features of Wear OS 4. With the new controls available in the Google Home app, you can now manage and keep an eye on your smart home appliances right from your wrist. Soon, Wear OS users will also have access to Gmail and Google Calendar, enabling them to quickly respond to emails, check agendas and manage events and tasks while on the go.
With Wear OS 4, third-party app integrations are also taking centre stage. For instance, WhatsApp is getting ready to release its first-ever smartwatch app. It allows users to initiate conversations, voice-reply to messages, and take calls directly from their Wear OS watch. The software is currently in Beta and you can sign-up for access.
Furthermore, Spotify and Peloton are improving their Wear OS presence. Three new tiles from Spotify will make it simple to access podcasts, playlists with high play counts, and carefully curated music selections, while a tile from Peloton will let users keep track of their workouts.
Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets
Wear OS 4 promises to regularly release platform updates. Improved accessibility features, like a more dependable text-to-speech experience, will be included in these updates. Additionally, when configuring a watch, the permissions you granted on your phone will automatically transfer.
The Watch Face Format, created in collaboration with Samsung, is another noteworthy addition to Wear OS 4. The new format, a declarative XML format, enables designers and developers to produce premium, power-saving watch faces especially for Wear OS 4 devices.
Additionally, the new OS will bring better battery life. This is the improvement that we most want to see made to the current version because it is one of its major sticking points.
Finally, when switching to a new timepiece, watch owners will enjoy greater convenience. People who own a Wear OS watch can safely transfer their data and configurations from their old watch to a new one thanks to backup and restore features.
Google hopes to improve the smartwatch experience with Wear OS 4 by giving users more customization, functionality, and control than ever before. Stay tuned. The company says it will provide more details on Wear OS 4 in the coming months.
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