Google has released Android P Developer Beta 5 (or Android P Beta 4) this morning as the search giant inches closer to the final release of its mobile operating system. However, Google is not just working on its Android release but is also working on updates for Wear OS, its platform for wearable devices.
An update is currently rolling out to the Wear OS in Google Play that brings a handful of minor changes to the watch. The update brings more features than usually made available with a system update. The changelog reveals that the update brings support for faster payments by quickly starting Google Pay. The update also adds a more glanceable design for events and appointments and fixes a bug that prevented the time zone from syncing accurately.
With Wear OS, Google recently brought about a major change where users need not go through a huge software update. Google now delivers minor updates to your smartwatch by using the Wear OS app installed on your smartphone. These updates are hence not major but it does show that Google is still updating the status of Wear OS, which has lost its sheen in the recent times.
Opening Google Pay, the contactless payment solution can be painfully slow on Wear OS. While the idea of contactless payments is to save your time from opening the wallet and tendering change, Google Pay did not serve that purpose on Wear OS. With this update, Google is addressing that real pain-point and making the function of opening Google Pay on Wear OS simpler and faster.
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Google has always championed notifications and on Wear OS, it is now making them more glanceable than in the past. In addition, Google is adding support for event and appointment notifications. The update should show up for Wear OS users in the Play Store gradually. Google needs more than software updates to save Wear OS and the real question is, will it go extra mile to launch its own Pixel-branded smartwatch to make Wear OS better on the wrist.