Google adds Tiles to Wear OS allowing you to swipe for useful information

From a totally redesigned UI and battery life improvements to faster Google Pay and bug fixes, no matter how big or small the update there’s no denying Wear OS by Google, as it’s now called, has come a long way since it was first introduced back in 2014 under the Android Wear branding.

Today, to help improve the overall experience even more, the Silicon Valley-based giant has announced another pretty big update to its wearable-focused OS.

Meet Tiles, the new way to access the things you need to know


Around eight months ago, as some of you may remember, a new Wear OS design was introduced that provided users with swipeable access to a variety of things. A swipe from the bottom of the screen showed recent notifications and Quick reply suggestions, while a swipe down displayed a variety of Quick Toggles. Similarly, a swipe over to the left side of the panel brought up the Google Assistant and over on the right sat Google Fit.

The response to this new design since its launch last summer appears to have been largely positive, and now Google is building upon it with a cool new feature that it’s calling Tiles.


As the name suggests, Wear OS by Google will soon integrate a number of tile-like cards into its UI that users can easily swipe through to see various bits of information that may interest them. Tiles are accessible by simply swiping to the left and, if users aren’t happy with the default order, they can be rearranged freely by long-pressing them and dragging each one individually until they are in the desired order. Alternatively, smartwatch owners can switch them around inside the Wear OS by Google app on their smartphone.

What Tiles will be available at launch?


According to Google, the initial rollout will include a total of six individual tiles. The first, called Goals, works just like the current Google Fit screen, allowing users to view their daily workout goals and start a physical activity with a simple tap.

Another fitness-focused feature comes in the shape of the Heart rate Tile which, as expected, shows users their current heart rate. However, in order to use this one, consumers need a smartwatch with a built-in heart rate monitor. Alternatively, Bluetooth heart rate sensors such as straps can also be used. 
 
Joining Heart rate will be Next event and Forecast. The former does exactly what it says on the tin by displaying the next event in the calendar, while the latter allows users to prepare for the day by providing the local weather forecast. 


Completing the lineup of Tiles is Headlines which will constantly display the latest news headlines from a variety of different sources throughout the day. Also arriving as part of the update is the Timer tile which, as its name suggests, allows users to quickly set timers on their respective smartwatches. 

Tiles will begin rolling out pretty soon!


The new Tiles feature will begin rolling out to Wear OS watches across the globe over the course of the next month. An exact start date for this is yet to be confirmed, but Google does plan on showing the feature off at Google I/O next week where it’s also expected to announce the Google Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL, which will act as the company's first mid-range smartphones.

Regarding the future of Tiles, Google has confirmed that, over time,it’ll expand upon the current list of six by introducing new ones that center around different features. Eventually, users should have a Tile for every need.

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8 Comments

1. karll1

Posts: 23; Member since: Jun 12, 2013

Very similar to Samsung Tizen watches

2. adecvat

Posts: 640; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

How many watches get this update, 1, 2?

3. Cat97

Posts: 1892; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

That's where stupidity comes into play, where instead of really helping customers with useful information that the customers choose, manufacturers assume that everyone is a fitness junkie and make 70% of the smartwatch a mostly useless fitness tool.

4. Feanor

Posts: 1365; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

Totally disagree. Fitness tracking is the only thing that a smartwatch can do and a smartphone cannot. So it's really crusial function to smartwatches. Other than that, notifications are the most used feature, but it doesn't make the smartwatch a must-have device. It's not like you don't get your notifications on your smartphone without a smartwatch. All other features, like paying, navigating etc. are really not possible to convince anyone that they really need a smartwatch.

5. Cat97

Posts: 1892; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

If I am wearing a full-blown computer (and I pay $300+), I want to use all its capabilities, not just use it as a fitness tracker. I have a screen, a dual-core processor, 768MB of RAM and gigabytes of storage, I want to be able to use them at their fullest. But the WearOS artificially restricts what you can do with it and what can apps do with it, in order for you to use the phone more often and click on Google's ads.

8. Mrmark

Posts: 396; Member since: Jan 26, 2013

Yeah you are wrong . Fitness is nice but I watch more on the other side .

6. maherk

Posts: 6876; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

They should consider fixing the data issues that has been bugging down Android Wear smartwatches. I had 4 Android Wear watches few weeks ago and now I'm down to two and I might end up with none, and it's because of this stupid bug that Google hasn't fixed yet. Thousands of posts on reddit, xda, YouTube, and they're yet to address it. For those who don't know about this, it's a bug that has affected thousands of users where the watch will only connect to your wifi internet, but if you're connected to your phone through Bluetooth, the smartwatch won't connect to the internet through your data, factory resetting it won't even help.

7. mudcat626

Posts: 227; Member since: Jul 13, 2016

This is pretty laughable compared to WatchOS. I have everything on those swipes cards at a glance with complications on my watch face. It is the the assortment of app that are Watch OS compatible that makes the Apple watch so good. Of course the dual processor and 64 bit processing helps. Google won't be able to compete until they can get a SIP that can handle information like Apple. Best of luck to Google.

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