Google’s Wear OS gets swipeable tiles for news, weather and timers
Short of a complete overhaul, Google is giving Wear OS a bit of a makeover with a new navigation feature designed to limit the time you spend with it. Called Tiles, they’re similar to the original Apple Watch’s defunct Glances: bite-sized bits of information that give you information without needing to launch an app or touch the screen.
Tiles build on the Assistant feed and Google Fit shortcuts with six new screens: Goals, Next event, Forecast, Heart rate, Headlines, and Timer.
When you swipe left on the watch face, you’ll be able to cycle through them to get quick updates throughout your day. For example, the Forecast tile offers the current temperature and conditions as well as a few days of temperatures, while the Headlines tile shows a top Google News Story.
Tiles can be deleted and rearranged similar to how you change a watch face: either in the Wear OS app or by tapping and holding a Tile on your watch and dragging it to a new location. They’re not designed to be interactive, but you can tap on them to launch the associated app.
Google rebranded Android Wear as Wear OS last year, and has slowly been adding features such as dark mode and deeper Assistant integration. Google also said it would be working with existing partners rather than developing its own wearable device, but we’ve yet to see much in the way of new hardware.
New Tiles will be added “over time to help you stay connected to what matters most”. Based on the launch video, Breathe, Music, and Google Pay could be on the way, but the possibilities are endless, especially if Google opens up Tiles to third party app developers.
IDG News Service