- Back in April, we made a video abouthow there just aren't very many goodsmartwatches for Android users.
But since then, a whole lot has happened.
There's a new chip coming out for Wear OS smartwatches,and there's a new version of Wear OS, it's 2.
0and it's coming out to smartwatches right nowand it has a whole new interface,but oh wait, now it says it's Wear OS 2.
1,they keep changing it on me.
I dunno, whatever, the important thing isit's the new version of Wear OS.
Here's a question, has anything really changed?(upbeat music)Wear OS, as you know, works with bothiPhones and Android phones.
The truth is, if you have an iPhoneand you want a smartwatch, your best option,it really is the new Apple Watch.
It's really great.
But if you have an Android phone,I still think you're basically looking atthose same three options I talked about in the last video.
And just to review, that is a Wear OS smartwatch,it is a third-party smartwatch with a screenor a hybrid smartwatch, which doesn't have a screen.
I think right now the best third-party smartwatchis the Galaxy Watch, which is nice,but I kind of don't like itif you're not using a Samsung phone,'cause there's a bunch of extra softwareand the hybrid smartwatches, they're fine,they're still doing their thing.
But the real question is, what's going on now with Wear OS?And actually, there's quite a lot.
Qualcomm has announced a new processor for Wear OS,it's called the Snapdragon 3100,and before you get too excited about it,the main thing that you should know about itis that it has a little co-processorthat runs the thing in ambient modeand also it can detect all the sensors.
And it allows it to run in low powerfor a longer time, but the main processor isn't any faster.
So it still feels basically the same when you use it.
(energetic music)That's not necessarily a problem,assuming that Wear OS has been updatedto work better on like the existing chips.
So I've been using Wear OS for the last week or soand you know what?It's been updated to work better.
But the other thing about this new processoris we haven't seen any watches using it yet.
That may seem confusing, 'cause you may have seenthat a bunch of smartwatches just got announcedat that tech show in Berlin called IFA.
But you should know that all those watchesstill have the old processor.
And here's one of them right here.
It's the Fossil Q Explorist HR Gen 4.
And the HR stands for heart rate'cause it can read your heart rate now.
They cost 255 bucks, the other new thingthat it has is NFC, so you can use it with Google Pay.
And you know, honestly, it's pretty nice.
It's got a really big screen,it's you know, kinda thick, but it's not too thick.
I think it looks pretty good, and I do kinda like it.
But I dunno if I like it to the tune of 255 dollarsfor a smartwatch with an old processorkinda like it, you know what I mean?Also, honestly, the battery life it's not that great.
(dreamy electronic music)At a high level, the biggest change is thatGoogle seems to have figured out what a smartwatch is for.
Finally, or maybe again, I dunno.
Google seems to have a really clear idea.
If you take a look at what's happening here,you begin to see something really important.
So, let's look at the new gestures on Wear OS.
So when you swipe down from the top,you get a new quick setting screenand it's just a lot more coherent that before.
There's a whole lot of new buttons here,there's a Google Pay button, so if you have NFCyou can just turn on Google Pay really quickly.
There's a button to find your phone right away.
Do not disturb, airplane mode,it's a much nicer quick settings interface.
Now if you swipe up, you get the new notifications interfaceand it is way better than the last version of Wear OS.
Because everything is on a single scrollable sheet,you can still expand them, you can still see stuff grouped,and you can wipe stuff away that gets smeared on your phone.
Good job! Way better.
Thank you for making it the way it was.
Now from the home screen, if you swipe right,if you swipe right? Yes.
Well, if you swipe left to go to the right.
Swiping is hard, I'd be really bad at Tinder by the way,it's a good thing I'm old.
Anyway, you get to the new version of Google Fit,which just got updated, it's got two new scores,and Google really simplified itand made it easier to understand,so good job there Google.
And then when you swipe right,you get to the left hand screen,which is the Google Feed.
This is the place where you can see, you know,ambient information, you're gonna get the weather,you're gonna get what Google thinks is, you know,the next thing in your calendar or whatever.
This where they can be a little more experimental.
Put it all together,look at all the stuff in the new gestures,what do you really see?Well, here's what I see.
Number one, I see an operating systemthat is maybe slightly fasterand a little bit more responsive than it was before.
Now this could just be new watch syndrome,every time you get a new gadget you just think it's faster,but I dunno, honestly, I do think Googlehas optimized things just a little bit.
Number two, finally, we see a coherent focuson the two things that people most want out of a smartwatch,fitness and notifications.
Both of those things are way better nowand they're easy to get to from the home screen.
Or the watch face, anyway,the features are more purposeful nowand they're also more useful, especially Google Fit.
Now, Google isn't trying to compete at every levelwith the Apple Watch, Google Fit is maybe just a little bitmore basic than the health stuff on the Apple Watch.
But, you know what, it worksand I do think it's enough for a lot of people.
And then, the third thing that we see hereand this might be the most important one,there is room to grow.
And especially in the Google Feed.
Is it great yet? No.
Maybe it will be someday, that's always how we feelabout the Google feed, but it is a placewhere Google can experiment with new featuresand ideas without mucking aroundwith the core functions of the smartwatch.
Add those three things upand I what I think we're really looking at here is a reset.
Wear OS is now simpler, and it's easier to understandand that's more than I've been able to say about itfor kind of a long time.
So, I wanna go back to that very, very first question.
Has anything changed?Well, you know what, let's look at what I saidin the last video and see if it still holds up now.
(gentle electronic music)When you use an Android phoneand you wanna wear a smartwatch,your choices are actually kind of grim.
Yeah, you know what, grim is mean, but it's not wrong.
The problem with Wear OS is Google hasn't doneright by its users with this platform.
The new update actually shows Google listeningto its user and I'm really happy about it.
The third-party apps are a like not that great,if you can find them at all,and digging through the piles and pilesof watch faces to find the one good onethat you like just takes forever.
Google recently put like this qualityfilter on the app store for Wear OSso that really low quality junky stuff will go away.
So hopefully that will make iteasier to find the good watch facesand what few good apps there actually are.
I kinda wanna go back to Wear OS,which seems like a really bad choice.
Yeah, I actually kind of like it,especially with this new interface.
It's great as long as, you know,you don't need to have your watch work after 10:00 p.
because the battery dies.
(claps)Even though it might be the right choice for me,I don't think I can recommenda Wear OS watch to really anybody else.
Still true, but that might not be the case forever.
And let me explain why.
(energetic electronic music)Wear OS is in a much better placenow than it was six months agoand that comes down to Google solvingthe same problem that Apple solved with its watch.
Knowing what a smartwatch is for.
Time, fitness, notifications.
Everything else is stuff you buildon top of that foundation.
And foundations should be simple and sturdy.
And Wear OS? It finally is.
But, that doesn't mean that now is a great timeto buy a Wear OS smartwatch, sorry.
It's worth waiting to see what these newQualcomm processors do on new smartwatchesand whether it makes a big difference.
And honestly, it's worth waiting to see,software-wise what Google can buildon top of this new foundation.
Hey everybody, thank you so much for watching.
You know, we made this videobecause so many of you were asking for an updateto our last smartwatch video, and I dunno if youlike this kind of video let me know in the comments.
Maybe we'll do it again sometime.
Lastly, have you ever listened to our podcast?The Vergecast, I co-host itwith Nilay Patel and Paul Miller.
It's fun, you should give it a listen.