Google is rolling out the highly-anticipated Wear OS 4 software update for the OG Pixel Watch device running Wear OS 3.5. The Pixel Watch 2, released earlier this month, came with the latest Wear OS 4 out of the box. Even Samsung has rolled out the same for the Galaxy Watch 5 and 4. It is about time the original Pixel Watch received the same treatment.
Wear OS 4 rollout begins today, with a phased approach over the coming weeks based on carrier and device specifications. Users can expect to receive a notification on their watches once the over-the-air (OTA) update becomes available, urging them to embrace the latest in wearable technology.
During the I/O 2023 keynote event, Google unveiled thrilling upgrades for wearable devices, including a refreshed Wear OS 4 software upgrade. After being stuck on Android 11 for nearly two years, Wear OS 4 has finally arrived featuring Android 13. It’s a big leap from Android 11, which was the previous version used by Wear OS 3.5.
Wear OS 4 brings the highly anticipated Backup & Restore feature alongside Watch Transfer. That way, you don’t need to factory reset your watch every time you want to connect it to a new phone. New apps like Google Calendar, Assistant, Gmail, and WhatsApp are also now available.
The latest update also brings October 2023 security patches, battery improvements, faster text-to-speech, and a new “Watch Face Format” built in collaboration with Samsung.
For users worldwide, the Google Pixel Watch will be updated to version TWD4.2301005.002, ensuring a consistent and optimized experience across the globe.
October 2023 Update Highlights
- Effortless Device Transfer: Seamlessly switch your Pixel Watch when upgrading your Pixel phone without the need for factory resets. Your data, settings, and watch faces sync effortlessly.
- Enhanced Backup and Restore: Safeguard your data and settings with improved backup and restore functionality, ensuring a smooth transition to a new Pixel Watch.
- Google Calendar Integration: Enjoy the convenience of the preinstalled Google Calendar app on your Pixel Watch. Stay organized with notifications, a 30-day schedule view, and easy access through tiles or complications.
- Cutting-Edge Safety Features: Stay secure with Safety Check, Emergency Sharing, and Emergency Info. Access vital medical information on your wrist and transmit it to emergency services through Medical ID Info in critical situations.
- Accessibility & Customization: Experience faster text-to-speech, bold text, magnification, and audio balance adjustments for enhanced customization and accessibility.
- Enhanced Notifications: Smart link recognition for phone numbers and addresses in notifications allows seamless calling, messaging, or getting directions. Embedded media previews provide quick views of images and GIFs.
- October 2023 Security Fixes: The update includes crucial security fixes. For details, check the Android Security Bulletin at Android Security Bulletin.
- Watch Face Format: Samsung and Google built a format called “Watch Face Format,” for developers and designers so they can easily create high-quality and power-efficient watch faces for Wear OS 4.
Wear OS 4 Full Changelog
Starting today, the October 2023 software, featuring the Wear OS 4 upgrade, is making its way to all Pixel Watch devices powered by Wear OS 3.5. The rollout will unfold gradually over the next few weeks, tailored to specific carriers and devices.
Users can anticipate a notification on their watches as soon as the over-the-air (OTA) update becomes available for their device. We strongly recommend updating to ensure you have the latest software enhancements.
Details of the October 2023 security patches can be found on the Android Security Bulletin here.
- Google Pixel Watch: TWD4.2301005.002
The October 2023 software update includes a Wear OS 4 upgrade along with its features, personal safety experiences, numerous bug fixes, battery improvements and performance updates for Pixel Watch users.
- When you upgrade your Pixel phone, you can now easily transfer your Pixel Watch to your new phone without having to factory reset it. Your devices will be synced and ready to go.
Backup and restore
- Backup and restore helps you securely backup your data and settings from your old Pixel Watch so you can easily switch to a new Pixel Watch while keeping all of your data, settings, and watch faces in place.
Google Calendar app(1)
- The new Google Calendar app will be preinstalled on your Pixel Watch with this update. You can get event and task notifications, view 30 days of your schedule, easily navigate to event locations right from your wrist, and even mark tasks as complete. Plus, you’ll have more ways to access your calendar, from a tile or complication, to keep important info in plain sight.
- With your upgrade to Wear OS 4, you’ll get access to the latest and greatest in Safety – Safety Check, Emergency Sharing, and Emergency Info on your Pixel Watch 1! Keep your most important medical info easily accessible on your wrist or sent to participating emergency services(2) in the event of an emergency with Medical ID Info. Have peace of mind when you’re walking home alone at night, on an early morning run, or in any other situation where you need a little safety net, with Safety Check and Emergency Sharing.
Accessibility & customization
- New and improved customization capabilities, like a new text-to-speech engine supporting a faster, a more reliable TalkBack experience on your watch, bold text, new and improved magnification, and audio balance to adjust intensity of sound between right and left audio channels.
- Notifications come with smart link recognition of phone numbers and addresses, allowing you to tap to call, message, or get directions. Embedded media previews let you quickly view images and GIFs without leaving the notification shade. These enriched alerts provide more information upfront so you can take action faster.
New Watch Face Format for Wear OS 4
According to Google’s blogpost, Samsung and Google built a format called “Watch Face Format,” for developers and designers so they can easily create high-quality and power-efficient watch faces for Wear OS 4.
The Watch Face Format is a new way to build watch faces for Wear OS smartwatches, developed in partnership with Samsung.
The format is a declarative XML format that does not involve any executable code, meaning that the Wear OS platform takes care of the logic needed to render the watch face.
This means that watch face designers will no longer have to worry about code optimizations or battery performance as Wear OS will handle the rendering logic. As a result, maintenance and updates will be reduced, and designers will benefit from the latest bug fixes and performance enhancements without updating the watch face.
The Watch Face Format lets designers create analog and digital watch faces, watch faces with complications, customizable watch faces, and more. Here are some examples.
Analog and digital watch faces:
Watch faces with complications:
Customizable watch faces:
Samsung’s Watch Face Studio is an alternative to directly writing XML using the Watch Face Format, and makes it easy for designers to create watch faces without any coding experience.
You can read all about the Watch Face Format for Wear OS here.
How to update your Pixel Watch?
- Disconnect your watch from your phone. (It is better to download the update directly on your smartwatch)
- Connect your Pixel Watch to WiFi network.
- On your watch, go to Settings > System Update > Check for update.
- Download and install the Pixel Watch update.
- Enjoy your June Feature Drop.
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