​Wear OS 2 gets big update – but won’t get some crucial new features

Google giveth and taketh away
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Google has announced a big final update to Wear 2, offering users of older Wear OS smartwatches a dose of new features.

However, the new YouTube Music app and revamped Google Maps will only be accessible to to users of Wear 3.

But we’ll start with the inbound features heading to older Wear OS devices.

As revealed in a Google blog post, Google Pay will land in new countries including Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, Slovakia, Sweden, Taiwan, Ukraine and United Arab Emirates.

There’s an upgraded Messages app for Wear OS which lets users reply to contacts from the wrist.

And the new third-party Tiles feature, which has been previously announced, will start rolling out to users.

But it seems two exciting new features will remain for Wear 3 users only.

The new YouTube Music service, which will allow offline listening and downloads on the wrist, will not be available for Wear 2 users. And more troubling, the new Google Maps will also not filter down.

And as we reported, Spotify has updated its Wear OS app to include offline downloads, and that will be available across older Wear OS devices.

But it seems baffling that a two central Google apps will not be usable by its legion of smartwatches.

Wear 3 was formally launched on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 this week – and Google has confirmed it will only roll out onto two existing Wear smartwatches: the TicWatch Pro 3 and E3.

In effect, Wear 3 is a big reset for Google, and the benefits brought by the new OS seems to have left less advanced devices behind.

While Google is looking to the future, this update seems to be an attempt to make existing users not feel left behind.


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James Stables


James is the co-founder of Wareable, and he has been a technology journalist for 15 years.

He started his career at Future Publishing, James became the features editor of T3 Magazine and T3.com and was a regular contributor to TechRadar – before leaving Future Publishing to found Wareable in 2014.

James has been at the helm of Wareable since 2014 and has become one of the leading experts in wearable technologies globally. He has reviewed, tested, and covered pretty much every wearable on the market, and is passionate about the evolving industry, and wearables helping people achieve healthier and happier lives.

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