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Wear OS 4 prepares to color your smartwatches with an Android 12 feature

The colors on your Wear OS watch will soon complement those of the watch face.

Published onMay 22, 2023

google pixel watch 1
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority
  • Google is adding a new dynamic theming option to Wear OS 4.
  • When enabled, it will apply Android’s Material You color scheme across the Wear OS UI.
  • That means icons in settings and other elements in the UI will be accented in the colors of the watch face.

We know that Google’s next big update to the Wear OS platform will come in the form of Wear OS 4. Google announced the next-gen software alongside the Pixel 7a launch at I/O 2023. The company didn’t reveal much about what we should expect, but folks at 9to5Google have dug up a small feature that would make the software UI more consistent with Android on smartphones.

Google has released a preview of Wear OS 4 for OEMs through the Android Studio emulator. A teardown of this preview has unearthed an upcoming setting on Wear OS smartwatches — “Enable Dynamic Theme.” Toggling on the option applies Android’s Material You color scheme to various parts of the UI. 9To5Google observed that once the option is enabled, the Quick Settings menu, the Settings page, and several other parts of the Wear OS UI adopt the hues and accents of the watch face. However, a watch face downloaded from the Play Store reverts everything back to a shade of blue. This could be because the feature is still underbaked.

Material You Dynamic theming was introduced on Android 12. Since Wear OS 4 will technically bump up watches from Android 11 to Android 13, the addition of this feature was to be expected.

Elsewhere, Wear OS 4 also adds a backup and restore feature to the platform. It’s expected to improve the battery life of supported wearables and bring improved accessibility options such as a faster text-t0-speech engine. Google has also built a new Watch Face Format to help developers create more efficient watch faces for the OS.

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