Google’s Wear OS 3 will be getting new features and — later this year — a major update to Wear OS 4. Announced Wednesday during Google I/O, the watch operating system will be getting more integrations with Google services like Gmail, Calendar and Google Home. Many of these improvements, which include battery life improvements, will arrive to Wear OS 3 watches like Google’s own Pixel Watch and the Samsung Galaxy Watch series.
Google’s updated Home app will allow for remotely unlocking your door and checking Nest doorbell notifications. Gmail and Calendar’s Watch OS updates will add quick replies to emails along with access to schedules, event RSVPs and the ability to update a task status from a watch.
Third-party apps are also part of Google’s Wear OS announcements, with chat service WhatsApp planning to launch its first native watch app on the operating system. WhatsApp’s Wear OS app — currently in beta — plans to include texting alongside voice calls directly from a Wear OS watch. Google also announced that Spotify and Peloton will be including watch tiles in their Wear OS apps, both of which will provide faster access to music playlists and workout details respectively.
When Wear OS 4 becomes available later this year, Google says the software will bring battery life improvements, a faster text-to-speech experience and backup support. That latter feature will make it easier to transfer data and settings from an old watch to a new one, much like Google’s current Android phone setup process.
The Wear OS announcements come as Google’s I/O keynote takes a big focus on AI announcements. These include the PaLM 2 language model, an AI-powered version of Google’s search engine and the public release of the Bard AI chatbot.