Google is bringing a Wear OS 3 UI straight to older Watches

Later this year, Google will update the latest watches with the latest version of its wearable operating system. Until then, Google is already revamping some core parts of older watches with the new Wear OS 3 UI.

Previously, Google started bringing the new design language of Wear OS 3 to devices other than Galaxy Watch 4 in new and redesigned apps. This includes Google Maps, Messages and YouTube Music.

The company is now bringing this new UI directly to System Settings. In recent days, users have started noticing how navigating to Settings > Apps & notifications > App notifications > Show all and selecting an app reveals various design elements of Wear OS 3.

It starts with the current time at the top with a subtle curve, while each setting is housed in a pill that features a subtle blue gradient. The yellow on/off switch is located to the right of the screen instead of the left. We briefly had a yellow gradient on the buttons, but couldn’t reproduce it. Meanwhile, other owners have watches with blue/teal backgrounds.

This revamped list view where the pills house everything is a core part of the visual language introduced with Wear OS 3 and will feature prominently on the app launcher.

Google likely rolled out this change with a Play Store update to the “Wear OS by Google Smartwatch” app (version 2.54). As of now, it’s widely available on Wear OS 2 devices, including Snapdragon Wear 3100 models that won’t be updated to the newer system this year.

This is an interesting modernization effort from Google that will breathe new life into devices that are already in use. Today’s update is for a more minor aspect of the operating system, and it remains to be seen what can easily be refreshed. That said, this new look brought to older devices is more likely a byproduct of the work for Wear OS 3 rather than an intentional upgrade.

Old List UI

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