Google is bringing some much needed changes to Wear OS, its wearable platform which has lost the platform battle to Apple’s watchOS and Samsung’s Tizen. After spending the last year refining the Wear OS mobile platform, Google is now introducing new changes that will further enhance the user experience on its wearable platform. The search and ad giant has announced a new addition to Wear OS called Tiles, which according to Google, are widgets that will be available at a glance and users can swipe between them to get information easily.
“Tiles give users more swipeable access to the things you need to know and get done right from your wrist,” said Frank Deschenes, Product Manager, Wear OS by Google in a blog post. The feature comes after Google added swipeable access to health coaching from Google Fit and proactive help from Google Assistant as part of a new design. Tiles work simply by swiping left on the home screen of your Wear OS-powered smartwatch. These Tiles will give instant access to information such program towards your fitness goal or option to start a workout.
Frank notes that new Tiles coming to Wear OS include Goals, Next event, Forecast (weather), Heart rate, Headlines and Timer. With the update, Wear OS users will be able to know whether they need to be next or plan ahead with latest forecast or check heart rate and get updates on latest headlines. These new Tiles will be rolling to smartwatches running Wear OS over the next month. Google says certain features will vary by phone OS, watch or country and more details are expected at Google I/O 2019, which starts on May 7.
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With Tiles, Google is finally trying to make Wear OS competitive and a first class citizen in its operating system offerings. Tiles will not just be another widget in the home screen, users will be able to customize it further to meet their needs. Google says that Tiles can be arrange in the order they wish by touching and holding any Tiles on the smartwatch or by dragging one in your Wear OS by Google app. “You’ll be able to stay connected to what’s important to you, and still keep tabs on other information and actions. We’ll continue to add more Tiles over time to help you stay connected to what matters most,” Frank Deschenes added.