Wear OS has gone through quite a few evolutions over the last five years as it adopted apps, watch faces with custom complications, changes to notifications, and so on. The next big change is coming soon as Google prepares to take another step on the path it began with the last major update, and it's going to be called Tiles.
Google's last major revision to the Wear OS interface traded the behavior of the left and right swipe. Instead of switching between watch faces, the gesture now opened either Google Assistant (swipe to the right) or Google Fit's health coaching screen (swipe to the left).
With the introduction of Tiles, it will be possible to pick from an assortment of new screens that appear in a swipeable carousel from the watch face. Tiles can be arranged in whatever order you like, but the current list is fairly short, adding up to just six:
- Next event
- Forecast (weather)
- Heart rate
Nothing has been mentioned regarding the potential for third-party tiles, but Google is encouraging I/O attendees to visit the Android Sandbox area to check out a demo and it's possible developer sessions may demonstrate how developers can provide their own experiences through the new interface.
Google plans to roll out Tiles over the next month and notes that features may vary by phone OS, watch, or location.
Rolling out now
Well, Google has wasted no time making this happen. Users of devices like the TicWatch Pro, Misfit Vapor, and Fossil Sport say they've already gotten the update adding tiles to their watches. It appears to be a server-side change, so there's no way to force it.