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Everything you need to know about the Google Pixel Watch app
As every Pixel Watch owner quickly learns, Google’s first-ever smartwatch requires its very own companion app. To enable users to set up, manage, and support their watch from an Android phone, Google launched the Pixel Watch app. Find out everything you need to know about the app including how to use it and what it means for other services.
What is the Pixel Watch app?
Starting with Wear OS 3, smartwatch makers now need to provide their own companion apps when launching a Wear OS device. Rather than rely on the old Wear OS app, Google launched the Pixel Watch app.
Pixel Watch owners can use the app to pair their new watch, customize watch faces, manage notifications and settings, set up Google Wallet and Google Assistant, and more. If you just unboxed a new Pixel Watch, download the app from the link below to begin setting up your new wearable.
Setting up a new device using the Pixel Watch app
Once you have the Google Pixel Watch app downloaded, follow the steps below. Make sure to keep your watch and phone close together.
- Open the Google Pixel Watch app, then tap continue to start setting up your device.
- Read through the terms of service, then tap I agree.
- Follow the prompts, review permissions, and complete the setup. You will need to confirm the pairing codes displayed on your watch and phone as well as log in to your Google Account.
- Choose your watch orientation and preferred wrist and review directions for switching bands.
- Complete or skip the setup process for Google Assistant, setting a pin or pattern, and Google Wallet, as well as review which apps you would like added to your watch.
If you already have a device connected to the app, tap the three-dot menu, then tap + Add new device.
Pixel Watch app and the Fitbit app
The Pixel Watch app is for basic device settings only. It is the most direct tool available for managing your device from your phone. It is not, however, a fitness or health tracking data hub. For everything from step counts to workout stats, users will need to swap over to the Fitbit app.
Once your device is paired, the first thing you will notice is an alert for connecting Fitbit to your watch. Tap Open app and follow the onscreen prompts to sync your accounts. If you do not already have a Fitbit account, you will be prompted to create one.
The Fitbit app is essential for recording Pixel Watch workouts, viewing health data, sleep tracking, and much more. Integration with Fitbit’s ecosystem is one of the most powerful aspects of the Pixel Watch.
Navigating the Pixel Watch app
The Pixel Watch app’s homepage is relatively self-explanatory but we’ll dig in anyway. The top of the screen displays the current watch face on your device, as well as information about your connection and your battery percentage. Below are a number of menus you can tap to review.
- Watch faces: Manage your current face gallery and make edits to your favorite picks. From this menu, you can also tap + Add new to browse other native watch faces available. Though customization is also available on the device itself, we find it easiest to make watch face tweaks here, on a larger screen.
- Tiles: Manage your device’s tiles including their order. To rearrange your tiles, press and hold the tile you would like to move and drag it to a new place in the list. You can also delete a tile, by tapping the trash icon. To add a new tile, scroll all the way down and tap + Add tile.
- Settings: You can manage more settings and preferences by tapping into the relevant topic listed under Settings. However, it’s worth noting that not all settings can be adjusted from the Pixel Watch app. Unfortunately, the app can be a bit of a guessing game as some settings are only accessible from the device itself. As such, we tend to use the app for managing watch faces, tiles, and notifications, and explore the rest of our settings on the watch.
Settings available on the Pixel Watch app
- Notifications: Adjust individual app notifications, mute notifications altogether, and adjust preferences for new apps.
- Google: Set up and manage your Google accounts including Google Assistant and Google Wallet.
- Fitbit: Review when your device last synced to Fitbit or unpair your watch from your Fitbit account.
- Play Store: Explore the Google Play store for third-party apps to round out your device. You cannot delete or manage apps from here.
- Watch preferences: Review and modify display and gesture controls, screen lock settings, safety and emergency settings, Calendar syncing, and watch orientation.
- Mobile network: Activate an LTE plan and set up mobile service to your device.
- Accessibility: Enable magnification and TalkBack features and manage Real-time text (RTT) settings.
- System: Set up Google’s Find My Device or tap for more information about your device. From here you can also reset and unpair your watch if needed.
- Tips & support: Access the device’s tutorial or seek additional device support.
How helpful is the Pixel Watch app?
In short, Google’s companion app is pretty bare-bones. It’s certainly an improvement over the old Wear OS app. However, we would have loved to see a more complete tool. Compared to the Galaxy Wearable app, for example, we don’t think the Pixel Watch app packs a very powerful punch.
The inconsistency between the app and the watch itself can be frustrating, as it’s not always easy to find different settings and customization options. Right off the bat, our reviewers and editors at Android Authority had to enable Developer options on our phones to trigger a three-dot menu in the app so we could take screenshots.
All in all, we’re hopeful that the Pixel Watch will see as much improvement as the device itself is sure to feature in future generations. For now, it’s enough to help users get started using their brand-new wearables.