Wear OS is getting a revamped Play Store and offline Google Maps later this year

Samsung can take credit for helping give Wear OS new life, and it’s an effort that’s paying off for everyone. During Unpacked today, Google revealed a few new features coming to Wear OS later this year, including a revamped Play Store and better Google Maps support.

Wear OS 3.5 ships on the Galaxy Watch 5 and Galaxy Watch 5 Pro with the updated One UI Watch 4.5 skin.

During Unpacked, Samsung touted that the Galaxy Watch 4 led to 3x as many active Wear OS watches on the market, and then brought Google into the fold to talk about changes coming to Wear OS as a whole. That includes support for SoundCloud and Deezer, which is coming later this year.

Google also announced that the Google Maps app for Wear OS is getting support for offline navigation. In its existing form, Maps requires you to be tethered to a smartphone for navigation, but this change will allow navigation to continue even if you left your phone behind. Google says this functionality is coming “later this year.”

Samsung further notes:

And coming soon, find your way using Google Maps from your wrist without a smartphone connection. Music and audio lovers will appreciate updates that include new apps like SoundCloud and Deezer.

Beyond that, Google is also revamping the Play Store on Wear OS to better match the one on smartphones. “Later this year,” the Play Store on Wear OS will offer new collections of apps, show trending apps, and show “personalized recommendations.”

Google briefly showed off the new UI during Unpacked:

More on Wear OS:

Author: Ben Schoon
Source: 9TO5Google

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