What you need to know
- Google highlights its new app experiences arriving with Samsung's new Galaxy Watch 4.
- Apps like Google Pay and Google Maps are getting new designs based on Material You.
- Google is launching the new YouTube Music app on the Galaxy Watch 4.
Samsung launched its new Galaxy Watch 4, which is the first smartwatch to run the new Wear OS "Powered by Samsung." But Google wants to remind us that it's still very much part of the experience and is highlighted some improvements being made to its apps and services on the new smartwatch.
A few of Google's apps are being updated with Material You-based design. That includes Google Pay, Google Messages, and Google Maps. Some apps have already received the new look, such as the Play Store and Gboard, and Google previously mentioned that older Wear OS devices would see these updates at some point.
In addition to a new look, some apps are also getting new functions. Google Maps is getting turn-by-turn directions straight from the watch instead of having them sent to your smartphone.
Google also highlights how its revamped Messages app can keep conversations synced between the watch and the phone to easily pick up where you left off in a conversation. The Google Messages app will be preloaded on the Galaxy Watch 4 in select countries, but users in the U.S., Japan, and South Korea must download the app from the Play Store.
Google is finally launching the new YouTube Music app to replace the retired Google Play Music. It will feature offline listening for YouTube Premium subscribers and even offer Smart Downloads to refresh downloaded content when the Galaxy Watch 4 is charging.
Other updates include new experiences from apps like Spotify, Strava, and MyFitnessPal, which will launch along with new Tiles for quick access to certain features. Support for contactless payments with Google Pay on Wear OS is also expanding to 16 more countries on Wear OS 3.
You'll be able to experience many of these new features on the new Galaxy Watch 4, but some features like the updated app designs, new Tiles, and Google Pay support, will also arrive "in the coming weeks" on some of the best Wear OS watches running Wear OS 2. The new Google Pay redesign is already rolling out to some devices.
The new Wear OS
Wear OS at its best
The Galaxy Watch 4 is the first smartwatch to run the new Wear OS powered by Samsung. Thanks to its powerful new chip, Samsung's new wearable can take Wear OS to the next level with new seamless integration and better app experiences.
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Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.