Google begins rolling out the big Wear OS update for everyone

Oct 1, 2018

The big Wear OS update that Google announced towards the end of last month has arrived. New navigation shortcuts, clubbed notifications, and a better Google Assistant integration are the major highlights of the update. The revamped interface is rolling out to users as Wear OS 2.1, and will certainly make your old Android smartwatch feel different, if not better.


Wear OS 2.1

If you recall, the new Wear OS update introduces substantial changes in the UI, making navigation through the watch easier. Some of the revamped gestures include:

  • Left swipe: Google Fit
  • Right swipe: Feed of information from Google Assistant
  • Swipe up: Notifications
  • Swipe down: Quick Settings
  • Long press on the watchface: Change watchface
  • Short press the main button: Installed apps list
  • Long press the main button: Launch Google Assistant

The quickly accessible Google Fit and feed from Google Assistant adds to the functionality of Wear OS watches. However, Wear OS is still nowhere near as advanced or as fast as the Apple Watch, or the Samsung Galaxy Watch. But it's not only Google to be blamed here. Your watch still runs the out-of-date Qualcomm Wear 2100. So even after the update, your watch won't feel any fast, especially when loading apps. As I said earlier, it just makes your old smartwatch feel different.



Qualcomm took an eternity, or what seemed like an eternity, to launch the next-gen processor for Wear OS watches. But even the recently released Snapdragon Wear 3100 doesn't promise much. The only major improvement it brings is increased battery life, thanks to a co-processor. The main processor is still the same, leaving a herculean task on hands of Google and its hardware partners to stay competitive in this heating smartwatch market.


The new Wear OS update is available for every single Wear OS device, barring the Samsung Gear Live, 2014 Moto 360, LG G Watch, Sony Smartwatch 3, and the first Asus ZenWatch. You can check for update on your watch by going to Settings -> System -> About -> System Updates. But remember, the update might still take some time before it reaches your watch. So keep an eye on it.

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