Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Watch 5 (and its rugged sibling the Watch 5 Pro) at Unpacked 2022, and after hearing about all of the tepid, ho-hum new features coming to the next-gen smartwatches (yes, that was a little shade), a Google rep hopped on to discuss something more exciting: the cool enhancements headed to Wear OS.
Your Galaxy Watch lets you do plethora of cool stuff beyond health-focused features. Your smartwatch can double as a remote, allowing you to control your TV from your wrist. You can play games on it (e.g., Wordsearch Wear). Heck, you can even use your Galaxy Watch as a shutter button while capturing photos with your phone. Pretty sick, right? But Google is kicking it up a notch this year.
New features coming to Wear OS
Google announced that Galaxy Watch users will have the option to add SoundCloud and Deezer to their Wear OS app library, unlocking new listening experiences for smartwatch owners.
The search-engine giant also boasted about its recent Google Assistant integration with the Galaxy Watch series. You'll have the opportunity to invoke Google to play your favorite Spotify playlists directly on your watch. And frequent travelers will love this one: later this year, you can solely use your watch for Google Maps navigation. This way, you can pocket your phone and not stick out like a sore thumb. Passersby will simply assume you're checking the time.
On top of that, Google is making it easier for Galaxy Watch users to discover their next favorite apps. The search-engine giant is rolling out curated collections of niche apps, so you can peruse through libraries that matter the most to you.
Finally, Google says that it will improve the home page, which will bring personalized Google Play recommendations to users based on their activity. Save for the recently introduced Google Assistant integration, Google said that the aforementioned features will arrive "later this year" (it did not give a specific date).
The updates to the Galaxy Watch 5 are a little too lukewarm for my tastes, so I'll be sticking with my Galaxy Watch 4 and enjoy the new perks Wear OS has to offer.