GOOGLE HAS quietly revealed a completely new look for its WearOS interface.
The design change comes as Google tries to drag the Watch OS back from near extinction, covering as it does, a tiny fraction of the market.
The timing is no coincidence. As we've been preparing to cover IFA in Berlin this week, we've noticed there's a lot of wearable announcements. Not only does it appear that several companies are having another go, but are actually doing so to coincide with the change.
There was unlikely to be much hoo-ha this time. After all, it wasn't that long ago that the Wear OS rebranding was revealed, and to do anything too melodramatic now could be viewed as a sign of weakeningly-weak weakness.
The new interface is designed to look and feel a lot more like an Android phone. The big focus is on doing a few things better - Google Fit, Google Nowesque feeds and notifications that can be actioned.
The key change is scrolling lists, rather than flicking from page to page to page. Just as with the notification droplist in Android, by tapping many listings, you get options as to what to do next.
Add in the new Google Fit, tailored for watches, and you've got something very special.
One thing we don't know yet is whether the odious practice of needing to unlock the phone to use Google Pay has been resolved. It may have seemed like a good idea, but with the Apple Watch managing without, you have to wonder because it was a huge turn off on the relatively few models that supported it at all.
What's slightly barking though is that the technology itself hasn't moved on. Whilst its still being pushed by gorgeous little devices like the Ticwatch Pro, Wear OS really needs a newer chipset to live up to the Apple Watch.
Qualcomm has one that should see the light of day for CES after a reveal... erm.... in two weeks. So why all these new watches at IFA? μ
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