Google yesterday officially confirmed that Wear OS 4 is in the works. This announcement was announced as part of Google I/O 2023. Wear OS 4 is a welcome upgrade as the last major Wear OS refresh was two years ago. As part of its yearly conference, Google is launching the developer preview and emulator for Wear OS 4. This will enable app developers to customize their products to fit the updated Wear OS experience.
Finally, this feature is making its way to Wear OS 4
The standout feature of Wear OS 4 is undoubtedly the backup and restore support. This means you can easily transfer from your old phone or watch to a new one without the hassle of factory resetting your wearable device. I previously found the absence of this feature to be quite frustrating. So it’s great to see it included in the latest update. We only hope that the backup and restore process will be seamless and effortless.
Google states that when you configure a watch on your phone, any permissions granted on your phone will be applied to the watch as well. In addition, Wear OS 4 will provide better battery life, enhanced accessibility features like a quicker text-to-speech engine. Google has also partnered with Samsung to bring a new feature called Watch Face Format.
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This new format is essentially a new and efficient way of building watch faces. According to Google, developers don’t need to worry about optimizing their watch face’s code or battery performance as the Wear OS platform handles everything.
What of Wear OS 3 users?
Google also had some news for users of Wear OS 3, with updates for first-party apps being the highlight. These updates include smart lock controls with two-factor authentication in the Google Home app. There are also new features for Gmail such as replying to emails and organizing your inbox. Additionally, Calendar features will soon be available, enabling users to view their schedule, RSVP to events, and mark tasks as complete, all from their wrist.
Google also highlighted that third-party applications are now compatible with their platform. They specifically mentioned that WhatsApp is available. Spotify is also getting an update with new tiles and support for the Spotify DJ feature. Additionally, Peloton support has been improved, allowing users to track their Peloton-based workouts and view weekly workout progress through a dedicated tile.
Wear OS 4/One UI 5 Watch beta for Galaxy Watch 4/5 coming later this month
Google has recently launched a developer preview of Wear OS 4, which is now available for developers to download. For those residing in the US and Korea and owning Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 5, a beta program by Samsung called One UI 5 Watch will give them the opportunity to try out Wear OS 4. This beta program will be launched sometime this month. The Galaxy Watch 6 is expected to debut the first stable version of the new software in July or August.
These aren’t the only announcements at Google I/O. The company also revealed the Pixel 7a, Pixel Fold, and plenty more.
Are you excited about the new Wear OS 4? Do let us know in the comments section below.