The Google Pixel Watch is getting 3 new features – but Samsung and Apple got there first

Google Pixel 7 and Google Pixel Watch
(Image credit: Future)

The Google Pixel Watch is getting a selection of new features pulled right from Android phones: Google’s own excellent At a Glance widget, and automatic syncing of your Do Not Disturb and Bedtime modes across your phone and watch simultaneously. 

At A Glance is a feature that's available on the best Pixel phones such as the Google Pixel 7 Pro, which provides contextual information about your day. When you first wake up, it provides weather information, and during the day, the Google Assistant syncs to your calendar, pushing upcoming meetings, and information such as how long an event is scheduled to last. 

Now, it’s been snuck onto the Google Pixel Watch without much fanfare, adding additional versatility to what’s already one of the best Wear OS watches. First spotted by 9to5Google on the Modular II and Modular III configurations of the Utility watch face, you can add an At A Glance complication to your watch face there.

Weirdly, 9to5Google found that the temperature was in Fahrenheit only, with no Celsius option, even if your region uses primarily Celsius, like the UK. Still, it’s an interesting and useful feature that we’re glad has made its way to the watch. 

During a separate teardown of the latest Pixel Watch companion app, 9to5Google also found Google is beavering away at an option that will allow you to sync your 'Do Not Disturb' and 'Bedtime' modes across both watch and phone simultaneously to prevent additional disruptions during key focus periods. The best Samsung watches and even the best Apple Watches also have these functionalities, so it’s nice to see them here. 

According to the teardown, Google should only need to update its companion app to activate the syncing features, so expect them to arrive on-watch in the next few weeks or months. 

 Analysis: preparing for the Pixel Watch 2 

Screengrab of WWDC 2023

(Image credit: Apple)

While contextual information inside a widget isn’t anything new, At A Glance is so useful on a watch face that we’re surprised it didn’t migrate from Pixel phones earlier. Likewise, removing the need to set both watch and phone to 'Do Not Disturb' or 'Bedtime' separately is one step closer to the seamless end-to-end Apple economy-style experience that Google seems to crave. 

Speaking of Apple, watchOS 10's introduction of its widget stack, reminiscent of the old 'Glances' feature on watchOS 3, means that for the first time in ages, you have weather, calendar information, sleep info, and more accessible right from your watch face. 

This may have spurred Google to get more information onto its watch faces, in the form of a similar widget. The At A Glance feature fills that niche nicely, although for those of us who remember watchOS 3 and followed Apple's WWDC presentation, it's proof that no good idea is truly new. 

There’s been no press or fuss about any of these features yet, as it’s possible they may be advertised front-and-center on the upcoming Pixel Watch 2

Google is likely to be a bit quieter about its software updates and new features on its companion app until the Watch 2 debuts, so it can go all-in on all the new features to convince new Pixel fans to snap up its latest wearable. 

Matt Evans
Fitness, Wellness, and Wearables Editor

Matt is TechRadar's expert on all things fitness, wellness and wearable tech. A former staffer at Men's Health, he holds a Master's Degree in journalism from Cardiff and has written for brands like Runner's World, Women's Health, Men's Fitness, LiveScience and Fit&Well on everything fitness tech, exercise, nutrition and mental wellbeing.

Matt's a keen runner, ex-kickboxer, not averse to the odd yoga flow, and insists everyone should stretch every morning. When he’s not training or writing about health and fitness, he can be found reading doorstop-thick fantasy books with lots of fictional maps in them.