Google is revamping its Wear OS (formerly known as Android Wear) platform for smartwatches, with a focus on making it quicker and easier to access information and notifications. Users can also expect more proactive help from the Google Assistant, the company says, along with "smarter health coaching" (which was previously rumored), all by simply swiping.
"We’re evolving the design of Wear OS by Google to help you get the most out of your time," Google stated in a blog post. Part of that entails making it easier to browse, dismiss, and take action on notifications by way of a new notification stream. Wear OS uses can now swipe up to see all of their notifications at once, and then tap on any of the messages to select a built-in smart reply.
It's no surprise that Google is putting an added emphasis on its AI assistant as well, given that AI assistants are being used all over the place these days. In this case, the new design allows Wear OS users to receive proactive and personalized help from the Google Assistant.
"Let’s say you’re headed to the airport—swipe right on your watch to see your flight status or hotel reservation. Tap on smart suggestions like the weather at your destination or find a restaurant near your hotel. When you’re getting ready for the day, your Google Assistant will help you stay ahead by reminding you to bring an umbrella, showing you your day’s meetings, or warning you if there is a delay on your commute," Google explains.
The AI assistant will also suggest features that users may have tried out yet. According to Google, it will become more useful over time, both as a result of getting to 'know' the user, and as Google adds more features.
Health has long been a point of focus among wearable devices, and the Wear OS update underscores this. It ties in with the recent Google Fit announcement. Google said it worked with the American Heart Association and the World Health Organization to design new activity goals, namely Heart Points and Move Minutes. With the Wear OS update, users can swipe left to start a workout and see how well they are progressing towards their goals.
Google says the new features will begin rolling out over the next month.