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Google’s Wear OS: These 3 swipe changes are coming soon

Google simplifies its smartwatch software before new hardware hits.

Google’s Wear OS: These 3 swipe changes are coming soon
[Photo: courtesy of Google]
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Google has spent the last couple of years tacking on new features to its Wear OS smartwatch platform. Now, the company’s making it all easier to access with a revamped interface:

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  • Instead of swiping horizontally to swap watch faces–something you probably won’t do often–Wear OS now maps a right swipe to Google Assistant and a left swipe to Google Fit, which got its own revamp last week.
  • Swiping up still shows recent notifications, but the menu is more condensed so you can see more than one notification at a time. Tapping on a notification brings up suggested actions and AI-driven smart replies.
  • Swiping down still brings up a quick settings menu, but now there are buttons for Google Pay and Find My Phone.

[Animation: courtesy of Google]
Google says it’s rolling out the Wear OS update over the next month, just in time for its own rumored smartwatch, possibly powered by a new Qualcomm chip.

Some companies aren’t waiting that long: This morning, Casio announced a new rugged Wear OS watch, while Fossil announced an extra-large Wear OS watch under its Diesel brand. Between Google’s smartwatch fleet and Samsung’s new Galaxy Watch, Apple Watch might have some decent competition.

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