WearOS 4 just started rolling out to your Pixel Watch – here are its 4 best new features

A person sitting on a carpeted floor next to their child while wearing a Google Pixel Watch on their left wrist
The Google Pixel Watch is getting some WearOS 4 improvements (Image credit: Google)

WearOS 4 is here, and it’s rolling out to the Google Pixel Watch and Google Pixel Watch 2 starting today (October 18, 2023).

The new software doesn’t come with a massive swathe of new features, but there are some exciting additions that Pixel Watch owners are sure to enjoy, so when the update is made available for your device in the coming weeks you’ll want to make sure you upgrade as soon as you can.

Below we'll tell you about four of our favorite new WearOS 4 that you can look forward to using on your Google Pixel Watch. You can also read our hands-on Google Pixel Watch 2 review for our early thoughts on Google's latest wearable.

1. Improved safety features

Thanks to Wear OS 4 you’ll have access to a few new safety tools on your Pixel Watch in the shape of Safety Check, Emergency Sharing, and Emergency Info. With Medical Info ID your most important medical info is accessible from your wrist – and in supported regions, it can even be sent directly to participating emergency services if needed. 

With Emergency Sharing and Safety Check you can either simply share your location with your Emergency Contacts so they can see your live location, or set a check-in timer on your watch so that it will share this data automatically if you don’t confirm that you’re okay at the specified time.

2. Easier device switching

If you’re upgrading to a Google Pixel Watch 2 or Google Pixel 8 phone from an older Pixel model, it’ll be easier to do so with Wear OS 4.

Google Pixel 8 lying face down on some crumpled brown paper

Upgrading to the Pixel 8 will be a breeze for Pixel Watch owners (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

With Watch Transfer, you can now transfer your Pixel Watch information and settings to your new phone without having to factory-reset it. With Backup and Restore, your Pixel Watch settings are all securely backed up, so when you pick up a new one it can be instantly set up with all of your data, your preferred settings, and your watch face of choice on display.

3. Enhanced notifications 

These subtle tweaks to notifications will give you the most important information upfront, so you can act on it a little more quickly. Now notifications will come with smart link recognition for phone numbers and addresses. This will allow you to start a call, send a message, or get directions from the notification. New embedded media previews will let you view images and GIFS from the notification shade, again saving you a bit of time, as you don’t have to open the app the notification is from.

4. New calendar app

A close up of a green Google Pixel Watch on a green background with a green clock on its face

Smart watches are for more than checking the time (Image credit: Google)

Lastly, we wanted to highlight that your Google Pixel Watch will get a new Google Calendar app. You can get event and task notifications from the app on your watch, see the next 30 days of your schedule, and set up navigation to an event location from your wrist. Plus, Google will be launching Calendar tiles and complications, so you can keep the most important information in plain sight.


Hamish Hector
Senior Staff Writer, News

Hamish is a Senior Staff Writer for TechRadar and you’ll see his name appearing on articles across nearly every topic on the site from smart home deals to speaker reviews to graphics card news and everything in between. He uses his broad range of knowledge to help explain the latest gadgets and if they’re a must-buy or a fad fueled by hype. Though his specialty is writing about everything going on in the world of virtual reality and augmented reality.