Samsung has announced a raft of new Wear OS features for the Galaxy Watch 4, ahead of its big Unpacked event.
While we’re still waiting for Wear OS 3.0 to land on Wear smartwatches, Samsung has announced new fitness features, a new voice assistant, a new way apps will be handled and improved YouTube Music app.
Starting with fitness and health features, sleep tracking is getting an overhaul, with more analysis available if you wear your smartwatch to bed. That analysis is done via the all-new Sleep Animals, which are essentially chronotype profiles to help you understand the kind of behaviour you exhibit at rest (see below).
The updated Samsung sleep tracking monitors you sleep patterns for a week, and asks you to complete two sleep surveys, before you're assigned one of the eight animals.
But most interestingly, you can then start a sleep improvement program tailored to your chronotype profile.
Samsung improves Wear OS 3.0
Next up, Samsung is finally adding Google Assistant to the Galaxy Watch 4 at long last. Samsung promised availability at launch alongside Bixby, but there's been silence on it since.
It’s now confirmed that Google Assistant will be “coming soon” – although offered no further information.
More immediately, however, is a new way that users can get apps onto their Galaxy Watch 4. The update will look for the apps on your Android smartphone (remember, Galaxy Watch 4 isn’t iOS compatible) and then show those as recommended downloads, which you can quickly tap to add. That will be rolling out in the next month.
And finally, also slated as ‘coming soon’, Samsung will allow streaming from the YouTube Music Wear OS 3.0 app, via LTE and Wi-Fi, as well as offline synced playlists. That one doesn't seem to be specifically targeted at Galaxy Watch 4, and will be rolling out to Wear OS 2.0 watches, too.
Many of these improvements certainly bring Wear 3.0 closer to the Android operating system than we saw when the Galaxy Watch 4 launched. And hopefully it means Google is getting close to a full release of the final product.