Wear OS is getting a long-awaited update, but it doesn't bring watchOS 7-like changes

The Suunto 7 on WearOS
Suunto 7 (Image credit: Future)

Google doesn't make as big a fuss over its smartwatch operating system Wear OS as it does its phone OS Android 11, with the wearable software getting infrequent updates and few new features. The company hasn't completely forgotten Wear OS though, as a new update for the watch software has begun to roll out.

A post on Google's Wear OS forums from September 9 states a new update is rolling out, bringing three key changes to Wear OS smartphones - none of them are game-changing, but you might appreciate the small improvements.

Firstly, Wear OS smartwatches will now be much easier to pair with your phone, cutting down that potentially time-consuming process. Secondly, and related to that, Wear OS watches will supposedly now be faster to use, with Google stating apps should load 20% faster.

Finally, and most importantly, battery life should be getting a boost now, though no stats are quoted as to how much longer Wear OS watches will last - and since they tend to have such short battery lives normally, it'd need to be a big boost to impress most people.

Google states the Wear OS update is rolling out to Suunto 7 watches currently, and to watches from other manufacturers in the coming months, so you might have to wait a while before you can download this update yourself.

Not exactly one to (smart)watch

The three new Wear OS tweaks aren't exactly huge when you consider Apple's watchOS 7, coming out later this year, is set to overhaul complications, bring sleep tracking, add new ways of using the map app, introduce dance-themed workout modes, add handwashing reminders and more.

Sure, Wear OS already has most of those features, but the volume of new additions shows Apple is putting a lot of effort into its smartwatch operating system - it'd be hard to say the same about Google.

Wear OS fans have complained for a long time now about a lack of updates and new features, prompting Google in August pledge some relatively big changes like a new weather app, but there's no sign of that in this recent update.

Hopefully Google gets its act in gear soon and brings big changes to WearOS, because the number of Wear OS devices on our round-up of the best smartwatches is getting rather low.

Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. He also currently works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.