At the 2021 Google I/O event in May, it was announced that Google's Wear OS will be getting a complete overhaul. This updated operating system made in partnership with Samsung, called Wear OS 3, is going to be dished out only for a handful of smartwatches in the second half of 2022. In anticipation of this update, Google has released a new "System updates" screen for the current smartwatches that use Wear OS. It makes it easy for users to identify the Android version and security patch level of their wearables.
Currently, most Wear OS updates primarily go through applications from the Google Play store or Google Play Services. But, updating to the latter's version 21.42.18 introduces a redesigned "System updates" interface (Settings > System > About) on Wear OS smartwatches. At the top, users now see the “Your watch is up to date” status. The previously used blue checkmark has now been replaced by the version of the installed operating system (Android version) and the security patch level (Android security update).
Before this update, the security patch level was found at the very end of the "Versions" list. Also, the previous "System version” schemes utilised letters instead of numbers to indicate their level. The current approach appears to be more user-friendly than the previous versions and lays the groundwork for the upcoming Wear OS 3. The Android 11-based Wear OS 3 is going to be an optional update for most of the newly released smartwatches this year, as per a report by 9to5Google.
Google has joined hands with Samsung to combine the best features of Wear OS and Tizen into a single platform called Wear OS 3. The move is aimed to take on Apple, the market leader in the smartwatch segment. This updated operating system features support for third-party Tiles and the ability to switch between apps by double-tapping the screen. It sees improvements made to the interface of Google Maps and Google Assistant. Google has also integrated health and fitness tracking updates to Wear OS 3 from Fitbit.
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