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Google Confirms Wear OS 4 Along With New Gmail, Calendar and Backup Features

WhatsApp's first smartwatch app is also coming to Wear OS, bringing texting and voice calls without needing a phone.

Mike Sorrentino Senior Editor
Mike Sorrentino is a Senior Editor for Mobile, covering phones, texting apps and smartwatches -- obsessing about how we can make the most of them. Mike also keeps an eye out on the movie and toy industry, and outside of work enjoys biking and pizza making.
Expertise Phones, texting apps, iOS, Android, smartwatches, fitness trackers, mobile accessories, gaming phones, budget phones, toys, Star Wars, Marvel, Power Rangers, DC, mobile accessibility, iMessage, WhatsApp, Signal, RCS
Mike Sorrentino
2 min read
Google Pixel Watch in silver with chalk band

The Pixel Watch.


Google's Wear OS 3 is getting new features from Google itself along with third-party apps and -- later this year -- a major update to Wear OS 4. Announced Wednesday during Google I/O, the watch operating system will be getting more integrations with Google services like Gmail, Calendar and Google Home. Many of these improvements, which include battery life improvements, will arrive on Wear OS 3 watches like Google's own Pixel Watch and the Samsung Galaxy Watch series.

The updated Google Home app will allow for remotely unlocking your door and checking Nest doorbell notifications. Gmail and Calendar's Watch OS updates will add quick replies to emails along with access to schedules, event RSVPs and the ability to update a task status from a watch.

A look at WhatsApp on Wear OS.


Third-party apps are also part of Google's Wear OS announcements, with chat service WhatsApp planning to launch its first native watch app on the operating system. WhatsApp's Wear OS app -- currently in beta -- plans to include texting alongside voice calls directly from a Wear OS watch. Google also announced that Spotify and Peloton will be including watch tiles in their Wear OS apps, both of which will provide faster access to music playlists and workout details respectively.

When Wear OS 4 becomes available later this year, Google says the software will bring battery life improvements, a faster text-to-speech experience and backup support. That latter feature will make it easier to transfer data and settings from an old watch to a new one, much like Google's current Android phone setup process.

The Wear OS announcements come as Google's I/O keynote takes a big focus on AI announcements. These include the PaLM 2 language model, an AI-powered version of Google's search engine and the public release of the Bard AI chatbot.

Watch this: Google's AI Ambitions Will Likely Be Everywhere At Google I/O
Google's Pixel 7A phone
James Martin/CNET

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