Google has announced that it is adding a new WearOS UI element in the form of Tiles. The announcement comes days ahead of its I/O developer conference, which kicks off on May 7.
Tiles are essentially little information cards that you can scroll through. Think Tiles as a new way to navigate your WearOS smartwatch. Simply swipe left on the home screen to see shortcuts to the information you would like to access.
The good thing here is that the sorting order can be customised by touching and holding on any open tile on WearOS, or by touching and dragging through the WearOS app for smartphones. Right now, a total of six Tiles are coming: Goals, Next event, Forecast (weather), Heart rate, Headlines and Timer. No third-party apps are available as Tiles, however, Google has noted that it plans to add more Tiles in the near future.
Google has done little to improve its WearOS on smartwatches, which lags behind competitors such as Apple Watch Series 4 and Samsung Galaxy watch. Truth to be told, WearOS-powered smartwatches look clunky, offer terrible battery life and sometimes get extremely slow. In fact, there aren’t many WearOS smartwatches that can even compete with Apple Watch Series 4 or Samsung Galaxy Watch.
At the moment, the best WearOS smartwatch is the Fossil Sport, which uses Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor. However, the critical reception to the device has been mixed.
But it isn’t the end of WearOS, as the company is still committed supporting the OS for smartwatches. Google says the new Tiles feature will be showcased at its annual I/O developer conference next week in Mountain View, California.