Google on September 28, 2018 rolled out software update for Smartwatches that use the Wear OS software. This will be in fairly direct response to Apple’s launch of the Smartwatch series 4, and while the new update to wear OS is certainly an improvement, it’s definitely lagging behind Apple’s watch OS.
The new update brings improved battery life along with several new interaction options:
The biggest difference you’ll find when upgrading from the previous version of Wear is navigation. Before, you’d swipe horizontally to change watch faces. Now, swiping left and right brings up Google Fit and Assistant, respectively. You swipe up to see your notifications, and down for quick settings and shortcuts. And if you want to change your watch face, just press and hold on the home screen, like you would on the original Android Wear. To access apps, just press the button on the watch’s side
A more helpful Assistant
The redesign isn’t only about speed. Wear OS is now more helpful. The new Assistant page shows useful information about your upcoming day. For example, when I was checking in at an airport, I quickly found my confirmation number on this page, instead of having to hunt for the code on my phone. This is a more proactive Assistant, like it is on the phone, instead of a passive listener that’s waiting for you to tell it what to do.
The broader issue is that Apple’s watchOS can be designed to run on more powerful processors and so doesn’t need to be quite so adaptable, whereas Wear OS must be able to run on more dated hardware and a larger variety of devices and will suffer for that.
To conclude Even with some of those shortcomings, though, this is a huge step forward for Google. Wear OS is finally something which is a better fit for your wrist with a better processor and improved battery life.