Samsung’s new Wear OS 3-powered wearables have dominated today’s smartwatch news, but Google wants you to know that it hasn’t forgotten about smartwatches running Wear OS 2. In addition, to Wear OS 3, updates to Google Pay, Messages, and other third-party apps will be coming to current devices in the coming weeks, giving existing users something to look forward to.
To begin, Google Pay is expanding its support for contactless payments through smartwatches to 16 new countries: Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, Slovakia, Sweden, Taiwan, Ukraine, and United Arab Emirates. In these countries, Google Pay had previously been available on smartphones, but not on smartwatches.
Next, Google claims that its Messages Wear OS app will have increased performance, allowing you to access it without having to take your phone out of your pocket. The messages will sync with your associated phone, keeping your pocket up to date with everything that happens on your wrist.
Finally, third-party apps such as Calm, Komoot, Period Tracker, Sleep Cycle
e, Spotify, and Strava are releasing “new experiences.” Tiles, Google’s glanceable widgets that deliver brief pieces of information from supported apps, will be supported by “many” of these apps, according to Google.
These capabilities will be available on forthcoming Wear OS 3 devices as well as Google’s existing Wear OS 2 operating system. They’ll be joined by a revised Google Maps app and a new YouTube Music app with offline download capabilities.