Google will be rolling out a software update for Smartwatches that use the Wear OS software today. This will be in fairly direct response to Apple launch of the Smartwatch series 4, and while the new update to wear OS is certainly an improvement, it’s still lagging behind Apple’s watchOS.

Take a look at our Samsung Galaxy Watch hands on.

Google’s Wear OS is a much more focused experience when you compare it to watchOS. The attempt is to keep the Smartwatch in a more focused role of fitness tracking and notification alerts, rather than a PDA on your wrist.

Take a look at our Apple Watch 4 article just here.

The broader issue is that Apple’s watchOS can be designed to run on more powerful processors and so doesn’t need to be quite so adaptable, whereas Wear OS must be able to run on more dated hardware and a larger variety of devices and will suffer for that.

The new update brings improved battery life along with several new interaction options:

  • Swipe right for the Google “Proactive Assistant”
  • Swipe left for Google Fit
  • Swipe up for your notifications
  • Swipe down for quick settings shortcuts

This update has seen a redesign of the software to make it as efficient and user-friendly as possible, and while it doesn’t have the utility or speed of Apple’s offering, it’s certainly a large improvement over its previous version.