Google is attempting to breathe new life into Wear OS with another redesign. Things are getting shifted around so that the most important stuff is front-and-center, or just a quick swipe away. On paper, it all sounds pretty good.
One irritating thing about Wear 2.0 was how it handled notifications, especially bundled ones. Google says that it's addressing this in the redesign, but from the sounds of it, not much is changing. Swipe up to scroll through and tap to bring up replies, much the same as it is now.
What's new is that swiping down will offer you the shortcuts to open Google Pay and Find My Phone, along with the other Quick Settings like DND. Assistant will be more important now, too, and just a swipe to the right. At a glance, it will show you proactive help and advice. Google's examples include swiping to get more info on your upcoming flight, seeing what the weather is as you're getting ready for the day, and how the commute to work is faring.
Finally, the focus on health is arguably one of the more important elements to this fresh redesign. Wear OS will now go hand-in-hand with the all new Fit, and you can start a workout or check your status for the day with a simple swipe to the left on your watchface.
To me, this whole swipe-in-four-directions paradigm sounds a bit like the ancient Android Wear days, especially since Google doesn't mention an app drawer. This update is set to roll out over the course of the next month, though we don't know at this point which watches exactly are going to see the new Wear OS.
Google has confirmed that watches that did not receive the upgrade to Wear 2.0 will not be eligible for this update. Here's the statement made on Google's forums:
Any watch that was not compatible with Android Wear 2.0 previously will not receive the update. This includes the following devices: LG G Watch, Samsung Gear Live, Moto 360 v1, Sony Smartwatch 3, Asus ZenWatch v1. Let us know if you have any other questions!
And there you have it. I assume that means watches that did receive Wear 2.0 will get this redesign, but we'll just have to see.