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Wear OS 4 with Material You will make your watch more colorful

Google is gearing up to release Wear OS 4 in the upcoming fall, and one of its notable features is Material You, which adds a burst of color to your smartwatch, perfectly matching your chosen watch face.

In recent years, Wear OS has undergone significant improvements, with the introduction of version 3 marking a turning point. Samsung has played a vital role in this transformation, as the popular Galaxy Watch series transitioned from Samsung’s Tizen operating system to Google’s Wear OS.

Previously, the main distinctions among watches relied on hardware and watch faces, with Google enforcing a standardized user interface. However, now original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have the freedom to express themselves through the design of wearable software. Moreover, watchmakers can depart from Google’s generic “Wear OS” phone app, offering a unique and branded user experience.

Naturally, all watches initially rely on the same foundation provided by Google’s Android-powered Wear OS software. With that in mind, to assist watchmakers and developers in preparing for the upcoming release of Wear OS 4 this fall, Google has offered an early preview of the update, accessible through the Android Studio emulator.

However, Google has not revealed much about the practical enhancements of Wear OS 4 since its recent unveiling. We are aware that the upgrade will transition watches from Android 11 to Android 13, and Google briefly mentioned improvements in battery life and text-to-speech capabilities. Additionally, the company introduced a new standardized “Watch Face Format,” aiming to establish greater uniformity and efficiency in new design creations.

Upon closer examination of the preview software we were able to manually activate a new “Enable dynamic theme” toggle in the Settings app, which, as expected, applied Material You’s distinctive color scheme to various aspects of the smartwatch experience.

The Quick Settings area showcases the most noticeable color transformation, as each available toggle is now tinted to harmonize with the color scheme of your current watch face. For instance, the “Honey” yellow shade results in accents of golden brown, while “Lavender” introduces a vibrant pink hue.

It’s worth mentioning that when utilizing a watch face from the Play Store, Wear OS 4 defaults back to a blue shade.

Furthermore, these new colors can be observed in a few other areas, such as the Settings app, albeit in more subtle accentuations rather than prominent changes. It appears that the dynamic theme colors of Wear OS 4 might also be available to app developers, as certain elements within the Google Play Store were recolored to match the watch face.

Overall, the inclusion of Material You dynamic colors in Wear OS 4 may not be revolutionary, but it is commendable to witness Google providing a sense of coherence between one’s phone and smartwatch. Moreover, since fashion plays a significant role in wearing a smartwatch, having the watch face’s color extend throughout the entire experience is a subtle yet significant detail.

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