- Wear OS 3 on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 introduces a host of new features to the series.
- Improved Google Maps, Messages, and Play Store apps, and the new YouTube Music app come with direct control on the watch.
- Some of these will also roll out to older smartwatches running Wear OS 2.0.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic come with impressive hardware, but it’s the all-new software experience that might be its biggest selling point. Google announced a major Wear OS update at Google I/O earlier this year in partnership with Samsung, and we now get to see this exciting new update in action. Google has detailed five new Wear OS features worth checking out on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, which you can see below.
Improved Google Maps navigation on your wrist
Google has made significant improvements to the Google Maps app on Wear OS. You will get turn-by-turn directions will be sent from your phone to your watch. You also get a more detailed map this time around, instead of the basic information available previously. The watch app syncs with Google Maps on your phone to show home, work, and other saved addresses, along with recent searches to let you quickly and easily launch navigation on your wrist without needing to reach for your phone.
Contactless payments with Google Pay expands to more countries
You can now use your watch to make payments in 16 new countries, including Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, Slovakia, Sweden, Taiwan, Ukraine, and United Arab Emirates (you can find the complete list of supported regions here).
The Google Pay app on Wear OS has been revamped to include larger credit card icons that are easier to see, and it’s also easier to swipe through your stored cards. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 series will come with Samsung Pay pre-installed, but you can easily install Google Pay from the Google Play app on the watch. This updated Google Pay app and payment support will roll out to watches running Wear OS 2.0 as well.
Download and store your favorite songs with YouTube Music
The Galaxy Watch 4 series and other Wear OS 3 smartwatches will come with a standalone YouTube Music app. YouTube Premium subscribers can download and save songs directly on the watch for offline listening and create tailored playlists even if you don’t have your phone with you. A Smart Downloads feature ensures that the app will only refresh your downloaded music when the watch is charging and connected to Wi-Fi.
Reply to messages from the watch with the updated Messages by Google
With the improved Messages by Google app, you can receive and reply to messages and even start a chat directly on your watch without needing your phone. Use your voice, the keyboard, or an emoji to send messages on the watch. The app also syncs with your phone, so all your conversations are up to date. If you’re in the US, South Korea, or Japan, you need to download the Messages app from the Google Play app. In every other country where the Galaxy Watch 4 series is available, the app will be pre-installed. You will also get access to the improved Messages app on older watches running Wear OS 2.0.
Download apps easily with the new Google Play app
The Google Play Store is getting a new look with Wear OS 3, making it much easier to find and download apps on the watch. You will also elements of Material You across a slew of Google apps, with third-party app makers like Calm, Komoot, Period Tracker, Sleep Cycle, Spotify, and Strava rolling out updated versions of their watch apps in the coming weeks. You will see the new Google Play Store app on Wear OS 2.0 smartwatches as well.
See more: The best smartwatches you can buy
If you’re looking to pick up one of Samsung’s new foldable phones alongside the Galaxy Watch 4, you can do so by hitting the button below.