It is Samsung’s responsibility to help breathe new life into Wear OS, and their efforts are paying off for all parties. Today at Unpacked, Google announced a few additional features for Wear OS that will launch later this year, including an updated Play Store and enhanced Google Maps integration.
The upgraded One UI Watch 4.5 skin comes preinstalled with Wear OS 3.5 on the Galaxy Watch 5 and Galaxy Watch 5 Pro .
Samsung boasted during Unpacked that the Galaxy Watch 4 resulted in three times as many active Wear OS watches on the market, and later invited Google to discuss changes coming to Wear OS as a whole. Later this year, support will also be provided for SoundCloud and Deezer.
Google also revealed support for offline navigation in the Google Maps app for Wear OS. With this change, you won’t need a smartphone to continue using Maps, which now requires you to be connected to one in order to navigate. According to Google, this feature will be available later this year.
Samsung adds the following:
And soon you won’t need a smartphone connection to use Google Maps on your wrist to navigate. The addition of additional apps like SoundCloud and Deezer in the updates will be welcomed by fans of music and audio.
In addition, Google is updating the Wear OS Play Store to more closely resemble the one on smartphones. Later this year, additional app collections, trending apps, and personalized recommendations will all be available through the Wear OS Play Store.
Google briefly demonstrated the redesigned user interface during Unpacked:
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