Google Wear OS UI Overhaul For Smartwatches Announced With Update Arriving Next Month
Google is making some changes to the way users interact with their Wear OS devices, formerly known as Android Wear.
The watches, which have been around for a while, will receive a software update in the coming month that will make some sizeable changes to what gestures are used to carry out specific interactions on the device’s watch face, and as far as we can tell, they’re all for the better.
As of right now, users can swipe on the Wear OS watch face in order to change the watch face that is used and this has been the case since Wear OS 2.0 shipped. However, following the update that will arrive in the next month, this will change with a raft of new swipe gestures coming into force.
According to reports, the new gestures will include new and changed up swipe gestures.
For example swiping right will invoke a Google Assistant feed of information, while swiping left will launch Google Fit’s new fitness-tracking rings. Swiping up on the display will display notifications, whereas a swipe down will reveal Quick Settings shortcuts.
There’s more, a short press of the main button will bring up all the apps available and installed, while a slightly longer press of main button will launch Google Assistant.
Of all of these changes, it’s the improvement of the way users access notifications that stands out. While the gesture itself will be the same as it is right now, the improvement comes in the way notifications are shown. A more dense information load will allow more information to be seen as part of a large single pane of notifications. This will replace the current system that has notifications fill the entire screen one-by-one.
The other changes include a slightly facelifted Quick Settings pane as well as a new Google Fit interface which will allow users to track their activity via rings, something akin to Apple’s own implementation on the Apple Watch.
Google states that it will start rolling out the update starting next month, so keep your fingers crossed smartwatch owners!