Google is now rolling out the new Tiles feature to Wear OS smartwatches. That feature was announced a couple of days ago, and Google did say that it will land over the next month, but it was not expected to arrive only a couple of days after the initial announcement.
Tiles is a new feature that aims to make it easier to access information through cards or pages that people may see on the home screen of their devices. Tiles can show pieces of information like flight details, fitness goals, weather forecasts, and news items.
Aside from making it easier to view details, these tiles also more intuitive, since users only need to swipe left or right to see different pieces of information. Also, people may long-press on a tile to change the order of the cards, remove existing pages, or add new ones.
Despite the introduction of this new feature, tiles will not replace the notification list of Wear OS. Moreover, Wear OS only limits the number of tiles to six, a decision that could benefit users since adding too many tiles will result in people failing to access relevant information due to the amount of swiping needed to reach the appropriate card.
Based on the comments made by people who own Wear OS smartwatches on the social media platform, Reddit, older wearables like the LG Watch Urbane, which the South Korean tech firm launched in 2015, also got this feature.
While at least one user thinks that the Tiles feature is a server-side update, it seems that people should first upgrade both the Wear OS app and the operating system installed on the wearable to version 188.8.131.52631785. However, not all users who own the same device have received the new feature. Meanwhile, another wearable that is also receiving the new functionality according to Reddit users is the Tic Watch Pro, while an author of the online publication Droid Life noted that the Montblanc Summit 2 is also getting the new feature.
It also seems that the rollout of the feature is limited to certain areas, with a user in Australia stating that they have not yet received the new functionality. Moreover, the deployment of the new feature is likely occurring in phases, and other devices will likely follow over the next few weeks.
According to users who already received the feature, among the applications that can take advantage of this functionality include Google Fit, Google News, Agenda, and Weather. However, there is a possibility that more apps will support the feature as the functionality becomes available to more consumers. More information about this new feature will become available at the Google I/O event scheduled next week.
There have been concerns about Google's commitment with Wear OS over the last few months, given how little user-facing changes and under-the-hood improvements were included in the last significant Wear OS update. However, back in November 2018, the search giant introduced several new features as part of the version 2.2 of the smartwatches' firmware.
Among functionalities that came with this version is the battery saver mode, which prevents the device from receiving notifications and forcing the smartwatch to show only the time once the battery charge dips lower than 10-percent.