Sunday, 18 November, 2018

Google's new Wear OS watch update is here, and it's surprisingly good

Wear OS 2.1 is rolling out to your smartwatch starting today Wear OS's big redesign is now rolling out to everyone
Katie Ramirez | 30 September, 2018, 18:27

It's not entirely clear how the update is being distributed, since Wear OS consists of a phone app, a launcher application updated through the watch's Play Store, and an underlying Android system.

The software upgrade includes an easier-to-use interface that puts notifications and workouts a swipe away, a proactive Google Assistant and more useful features that promise to improve the Android smartwatch experience, even without Qualcomm's next-generation chip. I've been using it on a Fossil Q Explorist HR watch, and it's a far more useful update than I expected.

More news: Google Maps just made it easy to poll friends on dinner options

Google confirmed to me last month that the company doesn't plan to release a Wear OS watch of its own at its hardware event October 9, preferring instead to help its hardware partners by creating a better software experience. You might want to check the update screen on your wearable and see if the software is ready to go. The new Wear OS is created to address those issues. Swiping up shows you the current notifications you have waiting for you and swiping down will reveal the quick-setting shortcuts for your smartwatch and its new platform.

While it doesn't have a grand, overarching designation, you can think of Google's recently announced revamp to its smartwatch platform as the third version of Wear OS (though officially, it's 2.1). You now have Google Assistant and a Google Now-esque feed off to the left side, while Google Fit now sits to the right. While I haven't used it yet, I'm just glad they are killing that stupid f*cking swipe gesture that let you change your watch face. Stay tuned for a full review.

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