Apple just presented its best smartwatch ever, and Google couldn’t wait to roll out its new code in Wear OS. There are several companies that rely on Wear OS with their smartwatches and Google has been trying to make the wearable OS better on every front. Arguably, Apple Watch Series was miles ahead than Google Wear OS and after Watch Series 4, the iPhone maker really took the smartwatch game to a different level. Now, Google has started rolling out Wear OS 2.1 to its Android-powered smartwatches and the update is full of major improvements.
Wear OS 2.1 by Google
As you go about your busy day, every minute matters,” Google wrote. “We’re evolving the design of Wear OS by Google to help you get the most out of your time – providing quicker access to your information and notifications, more proactive help from the Google Assistant, and smarter health coaching.”
It will be a complete redesign for the smart wear platform. The new design is highly inspired by Android 9- Pie providing quality-of-life improvements to the users. Google also shared a short video highlighting some of the many improvements in new Wear OS 2.1. Starting off with notifications, they will not cover the entire screen. The left swipe from home screen will open Google Assistant while the right swipe will take you to the home screen. There will be data about user health in the home screen. There are also improvements in the quick setting panel where now you have shortcuts to Find My Phone and Google Pay. The update solely fulfills the purpose of making things quicker and more accessible. If it is not available on your watch, either you are running a Wear OS version older than 2.0 or you will have it in a few days. Here is what new interaction of Wear OS 2.1 will bring to the Google-powered smartwatches:
- Right Swipe: Google Assistant
- Left Swipe: Google Fit
- Swipe Down: Quick Setting Shortcut
- Swipe Up: Notification
Coming to the Google Fit screen, it is available now with a new set of health-tracking rings. One we get a step count and another we have a heart rate ring. This update is surely a foundation for a new generation of features we might see in upcoming Google-powered smartwatches. You can use AI-created smart replies for a quick chat through your watch. Quick settings panel now boasts a now-playing button along with pause button and name of the current song. Notably, Google calls the left-hand side screen ‘Proactive Assistant’ rather than just ‘Assistant’.
Apple Watch Series 4 vs. Google Wear OS 2.1
There are Android who can debate on the fact that Android is better than iOS while Apple fans who can debate to the contrary. Arguably, Google Android has proven to be better on most of the grounds of smartphone functionality over the years. However, Apple Watch Series 4 is light years ahead of Wear OS 2.1. The entire ecosystem on which Apple Watch Series 4 runs is engineered to serve user health on a higher level. It is certainly a critical time for Wear OS because there are several premium smartwatches lined up for release powered by Wear and Apple having that much edge over Wear OS will affect all these premium releases.
However, we think that Google has taken a very smart, simple, and effective approach to improve the smart wearables. Qualcomm is all set with its new hardware for Google-powered watches offering sturdy hardware to the upcoming Wear OS based watches. And if this is just an update to give you a taste of what’s coming, Google does have a decent and better foundation than Apple.