While Google’s Wear OS 3 hasn’t really hit many smartwatches yet, the Californians already announced the next version today – Wear OS 4. It’s coming later this year and promises a more useful suite of watch apps, better battery management, and a text -to-speech feature.
Wear OS 4 also offers improved integration with Google Home, with even more control over connected devices. Google also confirmed additional features for its Google Workspace, Gmail and Google Calendar apps. For example, you can access two Workplace favorites, quickly reply to emails in Gmail, and update tasks in the calendar with your OS 4 smartwatch.
Third-party developers are also on board. WhatsApp offers its first watch app with end-to-end encryption, voice answers and calls directly on the smartwatch. Spotify brings new tiles for easier access to your favorite music and podcasts. And Peloton is adding a Workout Streak tile to its Wear OS 4 app. Samsung and Google have also teamed up to create a new watchface format that will make it easier for developers to create watchfaces and make designs less of a drain on battery life.
Another important new feature is the option to backup and restore the watch without factory reset. Google hasn’t released any official information about which hardware Wear OS 4 will premiere on. However, there is some evidence that the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 series is currently in the front row. The Pixel Watch 2 is also a safe bet.