Wear OS updates announced by Google to improve interface, better support Google Fit

Google’s Director of Product Management, Wear OS by Google Dennis Troper announced today some updates that will be rolling out to Wear OS, Google’s operating system for smartwatches. According to Troper the new updates are intended to make it quicker and easier for users to get to information using their smartwatch, better capitalize on Google Assistant technology, and provide better support for Google Fit and users who want to use their smartwatch to support their health improvement efforts.

Google’s Troper indicates they have designed a new notification stream for Wear OS. Users will now be able to just swipe up to start going through all of their notifications at once. Perhaps more useful, the stream will not contain smart reply options as appropriate that can be triggered by a single click. If users going the opposite way and swipe down, they should find they have quicker access to tools and features like Google Pay.

Along with the addition of smart replies in line with the notification stream, Google Assistant in general is getting beefed up for Wear OS. Like other devices displaying Google Assistant information, Wear OS users will be able to quickly access the same information and drill down into details with a quick swipe to the right. The Assistant will also do things like make suggestions based on expected weather, warn you of things like traffic delays or even try to convince you to access some feature you may not even know exists.

While most of the Google Assistant features are accessed with a swipe to the right, going to the left will open up access to Google Fit related features. This includes a handy button to quickly launch a new workout. The interface also implements the new Heart Points and Move Minutes measures that Google added to Google Fit in conjunction with the American Heart Association and World Health Organization. Those updates to Google Fit were announced last week.

Troper indicates the update and new features will start to roll-out to end users of the course of the next month to smarwatches running Wear OS. Specific features could vary by phone OS (Android or iOS), watch or country.

source: Google

About the Author: Jeff Causey

Raised in North Carolina, Jeff Causey is a licensed CPA in North Carolina. Jeff's past Android devices include an HTC EVO, a Samsung Note II, an LG G3, and a Motorola Moto X Pure Edition along with a Samsung Galaxy Tablet 10.1. He currently uses a Samsung Galaxy S8 and (very rarely) a Nexus 7 (2013). He is also using a Verizon-branded Motorola Moto Z Play Droid supplied by his job. Jeff used to have a pair of Google Glass and a Moto 360 Sport in his stable of gadgets. Unfortunately, his kids have all drunk the Apple Kool-Aid and have i-devices. Life at home often includes demonstrations of the superiority of his Android based devices. In his free time, Jeff is active an active runner usually training for his next marathon, owns a Mazda MX-5 Miata, and plays Dungeons & Dragons. Jeff has three grown kids and a golden retriever.

  • The_Chief

    So this is an update to the Wear OS app and not a firmware update, correct? I understand that Google Pay will be easier and faster to use – but my question is: will we be able to set up a PIN or PATTERN lock just for the Google Pay app, or will we still have to secure the entire freaking watch? I tried it for all of a day and became very tired of trying to enter a PIN (or worse, a pattern) on that little screen just to unlock the phone every time! For as little as I would use it I removed Google Pay and the lock.