Wear OS 3 features and everything you need to know

Wear OS 3 features and everything you need to know

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Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic ticker  look   adjacent  up   showing app icons
A Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic (Image credit: Future)

Wear OS 3 is the biggest update for Wear OS smartwatches yet. Built successful concern with Samsung, it offers faster app load times, fittingness tracking powered by Fitbit's technology, a redesigned interface, and more.

It’s an important upgrade that could respire caller beingness into the operating strategy – if consumers and smartwatch makers clasp it.

Below you’ll find afloat details of everything Wear OS 3 offers, on with accusation connected when, where, and however you tin get it.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The latest mentation of Google's smartwatch operating system
  • When is it out? Now - but presently lone for a prime fewer wearables
  • How overmuch does it cost? It's free

Wear OS 3 merchandise date

Wear OS 3 was announced astatine Google's I/O developer league successful May 2021, and archetypal became disposable successful August of 2021, benignant of. It's retired now, but lone connected an highly constricted fig of smartwatches. Full details of the wearables it’s disposable connected present and soon tin beryllium recovered below.

A Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 successful  someone's hand, displaying the time

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 was 1 of the archetypal watches to tally Wear OS 3 (Image credit: TechRadar)

Wear OS 3 compatibility

Despite being disposable since 2021, determination are presently precise fewer smartwatches that really tally Wear OS 3. In fact, astatine the clip of penning you tin lone get it connected the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, and the – precise costly – Montblanc Summit 3.

No antecedently disposable smartwatches person yet received a bundle update to Wear OS 3, but immoderate volition do; with the Fossil Gen 6, Michael Kors Gen 6, Skagen Falster Gen 6, Razer X Fossil Gen 6, TicWatch Pro 3, TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra, and TicWatch E3 each theoretically getting updated earlier the extremity of 2022.

Some of the existent harvest of the best smartwatches whitethorn good get updated arsenic well, but nary different devices person been confirmed yet.

We’re besides expecting caller smartwatches to motorboat moving Wear OS 3 earlier excessively long, including the Google Pixel Watch and the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 line.

Note that to usage a Wear OS 3 ticker you besides request a compatible operating strategy connected your phone. In mentation it works with some iOS and Android, but astatine the clip of penning lone the Montblanc Summit 3 includes iOS enactment – the Galaxy Watch 4 enactment doesn’t, and neither the Pixel Watch nor the Galaxy Watch 5 enactment are expected to.

The Montblanc Summit 3 smartwatch successful  3  finishes - authoritative  property   imagery

The Montblanc Summit 3 is 1 mode to get Wear OS 3 (Image credit: Montblanc)

Wear OS 3 features

There’s plentifulness to spot successful Wear OS 3, but it’s worthy noting that not each diagnostic volition beryllium disposable connected each watch. Notably, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 enactment runs One UI Watch connected apical of Wear OS, which changes the look and immoderate aspects of the idiosyncratic interface.

Below, you’ll find a rundown of banal Wear OS 3 features – functionality you tin expect to find connected the Pixel Watch, and immoderate different Wear OS 3 wearable that hasn’t been extensively customised, similar Samsung's existent Galaxy Watch series, wherever you tin expect to find much variation.

Faster and longer lasting

Google partnered with Samsung to physique Wear OS 3, and the effect is simply a operation of Wear OS 2 and Samsung’s Tizen-based wearable operating system; with immoderate caller features dropped successful for bully measure.

Key improvements that person travel from this collaboration see app load times that are up to 30% faster (than Wear OS 2), and improved artillery life. That second betterment makes it much viable to bash things similar tally the bosom complaint show each time oregon way your slumber without needing a complaint archetypal happening successful the morning,every morning.

An upgraded interface

A graphic showing a Tile connected  Wear OS 3

There are tons much Tiles disposable connected Wear OS 3 (Image credit: Google)

Wear OS 3 besides brings astir interface changes, with Google focusing connected making it quicker and easier to run your wearable. Nobody wants to walk ages swiping done menus connected a watch's comparatively tiny display, truthful there’s a absorption connected shortcuts and motion controls; on with the quality to usage Tiles (basically, mini widgets) to customize your watch’s location surface carousel successful much ways than before.

You’ll besides person speedy entree to astute location controls successful Google Home and beryllium capable to rapidly power betwixt in-use apps with a caller task switcher.

A customized overlay

A Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic connected  someone's wrist

Samsung uses its ain interface with Wear OS 3 (Image credit: Future)

Just arsenic Android smartphone manufacturers tin adhd a customized interface connected apical of banal Android, smartwatch makers tin present propulsion a akin instrumentality with Wear OS, truthful the level won’t needfully look oregon behave identically connected each smartwatch.

This should springiness buyers much prime and much accidental to find an interface and features that they truly love.

One UI Watch, recovered connected the Galaxy Watch 4 line, is an aboriginal illustration of this; it offers a fig of Samsung apps and services successful summation to Google’s, and draws much parallels with the plan of Samsung’s smartphone interface.

New and improved Google apps

Google took this accidental to redesign and amended Google Assistant and Google Maps, arsenic good arsenic adding enactment for much countries successful Google Pay (soon to beryllium replaced by the instrumentality of Google Wallet) and bringing YouTube Music to your wrist.

Fitness powered by Fitbit

A graphic showing tally  tracking connected  a Wear OS 3 watch

(Image credit: Google)

Since Google present owns Fitbit it’s nary astonishment that immoderate of the second company’s expertise has made it into Wear OS 3. This includes features similar on-wrist extremity celebrations and assorted tools for tracking your wellness advancement passim the day.

Exact fittingness tracking capabilities volition beryllium connected the hardware your smartwatch offers – astir but not each see GPS and bosom complaint monitors, for illustration – and past determination are little communal feature,s similar ECGs and humor oxygen monitors.

Better third-party apps

Logos for assorted  apps disposable  connected  Wear OS 3

(Image credit: Google)

Google is besides pushing for amended third-party app enactment successful a fewer ways. For one, the institution is making it easier for developers to physique large apps successful the archetypal place; with tools similar a caller Tiles API and a ticker look plan editor.

On apical of that, Google is besides aiming to reward developers for high-quality apps – and penalize low-effort ones – by adjusting their hunt ranking successful the Play Store.

Google has guidelines for what bully Wear OS apps should do, specified arsenic making definite they’re formatted for some quadrate and circular screens, having wide and casual to work text, and making the app relation without a smartphone oregon tablet.

All the halfway smartwatch worldly you'd expect

Above, we’ve elaborate ways successful which Wear OS 3 deviates from and improves connected Wear OS 2 but it besides retains each the halfway functionality of that erstwhile platform, specified arsenic notifications, timers, alarms, and more.

James Rogerson

James is simply a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor astatine TechRadar. He has a emotion for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and tin often beryllium recovered arguing with AI assistants oregon drowning successful the latest apps. James also contributes to 3G.co.uk, 4G.co.uk and 5G.co.uk and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with enactment connected the web, successful people and connected TV.