Wear OS smartwatches will soon be able to unlock your Android phone and laptop

CES 2022: Apple Watch-matching feature should be on the way in the coming months
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Google has revealed it's going to make Wear OS smartwatches more useful by letting you use it to unlock compatible Android phones, Chromebook laptops and tablets.

The new Wear OS feature was unveiled as part of Google's round of CES 2022 announcements, which explained that the functionality is landing in the coming months offering the ability to unlock and access Chromebooks, Android phones or Android tablets when they are close by.

Essential reading: Google Pixel Watch rumors and speculation

It shared a GIF to offer an idea of how the feature will work and looks to involve using the pattern unlocking method on the watch to give you that access.

Google already offers the ability to unlock Chromebooks using Android phones, so this seems to be a move to make Wear OS feel a more part of the Google hardware ecosystem.

In smartwatch terms though, it's not a new feature. The Apple Watch already has the ability to be used to unlock Macs and iPhones via the smartwatch.

While seemingly a relatively small feature to add into the Wear software mix, we know that 2022 could be a pretty big year for Google's smartwatch platform. We expect Wear OS 3 to start rolling out to compatible existing watches and there's likely to be new watches packing it too.

We might also see new watches from Google as well. The Pixel Watch rumor mill gathered serious momentum at the tail end of 2021 and we also anticipate that Fitbit (now owned by Google) could launch its own smartwatch powered by Wear too to join whatever Google might also be working on.

So while adding a smart unlock feature to Wear OS might seem minor right now, it could well be the start of an eventful year for Wear.

Via: Google Blog

How we test

Michael Sawh


Michael Sawh has been covering the wearable tech industry since the very first Fitbit landed back in 2011. Previously the resident wearable tech expert at Trusted Reviews, he also marshaled the features section of T3.com.

He also regularly contributed to T3 magazine when they needed someone to talk about fitness trackers, running watches, headphones, tablets, and phones.

Michael writes for GQ, Wired, Coach Mag, Metro, MSN, BBC Focus, Stuff, TechRadar and has made several appearances on the BBC Travel Show to talk all things tech. 

Michael is a lover of all things sports and fitness-tech related, clocking up over 15 marathons and has put in serious hours in the pool all in the name of testing every fitness wearable going. Expect to see him with a minimum of two wearables at any given time.

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