What you need to know
- Wear OS 4 is coming to the first Pixel Watch later this year, per Google.
- Google has released instructions and updated tools for developers to test their apps for the upcoming OS launch.
- With Wear OS 4, we can expect new watch faces, enhanced Tiles, cloud backups, and more.
With the launch of the Pixel Watch 2 running Wear OS 4, Google is also preparing to bring the update to the original Pixel Watch, which launched last year with Wear OS 3 on board.
In a developer blog post, Google shared its excitement about bringing Wear OS 4 to last year's model after launching it on the Pixel Watch 2, which will be available later this month. The company further assures the older Pixel Watch will get a system update to Wear OS 4 later this year, although it doesn't specify when.
Meanwhile, developers using the Wear OS 4-powered Galaxy Watches, like the Galaxy Watch 5 series, can continue to test their apps on those devices until the Pixel Watch update is available.
As for the new features Pixel Watch users can expect with Wear OS 4, they include new Watch Face formats designed in collaboration with Samsung. This makes it easier for developers to create watch faces as the logic is now handled by Wear OS.
After the Wear OS 4 update, the Pixel Watch, alongside the Pixel Watch 2, will support cloud backups that let users transfer data seamlessly between devices when they intend to switch them. Users will further be able to choose and customize files they want to include in the cloud backup.
Additionally, Wear OS 4 makes it so that when switching a phone, users no longer need to factory reset their Pixel Watch, which is quite inconvenient.
"If your app stores user configuration data for the watch on the old phone, you can allow the system to transfer this app data onto the new phone too, " the company adds as a note to developers.
Wear OS 4 is also getting enhanced Tiles, and developers will be able to make them more interactive with animations, which help users in having an enhanced user experience on their Pixel Watch by updating information in real-time.
While we just caught Android 14 rolling out, the Wear OS 4 is powered by Android 13. The company notes that it is releasing a Wear OS 4 emulator with updated system images in Android Studio Hedgehog for developers to help test their apps on Wear OS 4.
That said, Google still has not mentioned when it expected to make Wear OS 4 available on other Wear OS watches, many of which have only just received Wear OS 3 within the past year while others are still waiting.
The new Pixel Watch 2 features better performance thanks to the latest Snapdragon chip. It's also much more efficient, giving the watch all-day battery life with the AOD turned on, meaning you can spend less time charging and more time just going about your day.
Be an expert in 5 minutes
Get the latest news from Android Central, your trusted companion in the world of Android
Vishnu works as a freelance News Writer for Android Central. For the past four years, he's been writing about consumer technology, primarily involving smartphones, laptops, and every other gizmo connected to the Internet. When he is away from keyboard, you can see him going on a long drive or chilling on a couch binge-watching some crime series.