What you need to know
- Wear OS now shows your smartwatch's existing Android version and security patch level.
- The new UI replaces the previously used letters with the actual Android release number.
- The change is apparently in preparation for the upcoming release of Wear OS 3 next year.
Google is making it easier to determine which version of Android your smartwatch is running. The company has quietly rolled out a new design for the "System updates" screen on Wear OS watches which includes a reference to the wearable's current Android version and security patch level.
The new interface was discovered in a Fossil Gen 5 by a Reddit user and was first reported by 9to5Google. The redesigned updates screen displays the status of your wearable's software, like before. The blue checkmark that used to indicate that your watch was up to date has been replaced by the Android version that is currently installed on your device.
Prior to this update, system versions were indicated by letters rather than numbers. Users may have been perplexed as a result of that scheme. The new approach makes more sense than the previous one and makes determining whether your smartwatch needs to be updated easier.
Below the Android version information is the Android security update. Previously, this information could be found at the bottom of the "Versions" list. These changes are included in Google Play Services version 21.42.18.
The most recent change appears to be in preparation for the upcoming rollout of Wear OS 3 to some of the best Android smartwatches next year. Google also promised earlier this year at its I/O event that Wear OS would be completely revamped. The new user interface is most likely a precursor to that change.
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Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.