Google redesigns Wear OS with focus on Assistant, notifications and health

A redesign of Wear OS is the latest step for Google in attempting to revive and arguably outdated platform.
Written by Jason Cipriani, Contributing Writer

Google on Wednesday announced a new and improved look to its wearable platform, Wear OS. Included in the update is a new notification stream, an activity feed, and a Google Assistant feed.

Also: Google rebrands Android Wear to Wear OS

The update will begin rolling out in the coming weeks to existing watches, with features dependant on device manufacturer and the operating system of your phone.

More importantly, the update arrives just ahead of a Sept. 10 Qualcomm event, where the company is expected to announce a new processor designed specifically for smartwatches. With a new processor and the new software design, Google's Wear OS looks poised to compete with Apple's own smartwatch, which is also rumored to receive an update next month.

Also: Why can't Wear OS smartwatches be security keys too? CNET

There's surely more to the Wear OS update than what Google announced, but we'll have to wait until we have a chance to use it to see more.

wear os new design.png
Google, Inc.

In the meantime, the changes Google announced look like a big improvement to the outdated Wear OS interface users currently sport. For example, swiping to the right on the main watchface will now open the Assistant feed, where you will find information such as weather, flight, or hotel itineraries while traveling and keep you up to date on your agenda. It looks like a smaller version of the Assistant feed currently available on most Android phones, only adapted for the smaller display.

Also: Why Google Assistant could help make Android business friendly TechRepublic

A new notification feed, still accessed with a swipe up on the screen, shares the same design aesthetics as the Assistant feed and will include smart reply options, making it easy to tap on and send a reply without having to swipe and tap through multiple screens.

Lastly, following the launch of a redesigned Google Fit app, a swipe to the left on the watchface will display your current health stats and let you start a workout.

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