What you need to know
- Samsung's new One UI Watch 4.5 is now official with a slew of accessibility improvements.
- Significant updates also include enhanced typing experience and watch face customization options.
- The latest One UI version for smartwatches will make its way to eligible wearables in the third quarter of 2022.
Today, Samsung officially unveiled the stable version of One UI Watch 4.5 based on Wear OS 3.5, marking an end to its beta program that started in June. The new Wear OS-based smartwatch software addresses a number of accessibility pain points and improves the overall experience.
The new update gives us a partial view of features that are coming to many of the best Android smartwatches, including a new keyboard interface, watch face customization options, an improved UI for choosing a SIM card to use when making a call, and handy accessibility features. This confirms a previous leak.
On the accessibility front, One UI Watch 4.5 includes the ability to adjust the display's hue and contrast — handy for users with difficulty distinguishing between colors. It also allows you to reduce transparency and blur effects as well as disable animations.
You can also adjust the sound output to your connected Bluetooth device through the new audio channel settings. The update also lets you modify the durations of notifications, volume, and touch input from a single menu. The home button is now much more versatile, acting as a toggle for frequently used features.
A QWERTY keyboard is also headed to Wear OS wrists. The keyboard's significant improvement is its support for swipe typing in addition to dictation and handwriting.
The new iteration also supports dual-SIM functionality. This means you'll be able to choose which SIM to access when making a call or sending a message. Your paired Galaxy Watch will be automatically updated with your chosen SIM card. The interface will also display which SIM is currently in use, with an option to easily switch between SIM cards without having to open your phone's settings.
You can sift through the gallery below to see the new interface in full.
The UI's new watch face customization options will let you match your watch to your outfit by copying your favorite watch faces and then swapping available colors and combinations.
The new One UI Watch experience is set to appear on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic in the third quarter of 2022. Samsung's next premium smartwatches will also be treated to the same update when they break cover, presumably next month during the company's Galaxy Unpacked event.
That said, these aren't the only features coming to Samsung's smartwatches when One UI Watch 4.5 arrives later this year. The company promises that additional features are coming down the road.
The Galaxy Watch 4 is still the only smartwatch with Wear OS 3. However, a new One UI Watch beta program is in the works, which should bring some new features and changes.
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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.