Google releases new Wear OS 3.0 emulator image for developers

Google releases new Wear OS 3.0 emulator image for developers

The third major version of Google’s Wear OS platform officially arrived earlier this year, on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic, but those watches use a heavily-modified One UI build. We still don’t have a complete picture of what Wear OS 3 will look like on other wearables, but Google has now published an updated emulator image that should be closer to what appears on the Fossil Gen 6, TicWatch Pro 3, and other watches in 2022.

Google published the first emulator image of Wear OS 3 back in May, which predated the Galaxy Watch 4 by several months. That build included elements of Material You, along with an updated app drawer and quick settings menu. Google has now uploaded a new emulator image with a build date of November 17th, giving us an updated look at what “stock” Wear OS 3 will look like. Screenshots published by Reddit user amoledwatchfaces (via Mishaal Rahman) show off more gradients, toggles in the main pages of the Settings app, a new brightness slider, and icons in the Recents menu.

There do appear to be some similarities to Samsung’s One UI skin in the new build. More of the settings menus have toggles, so you won’t need to tap as many times to change settings, and there are more icons across the interface. Tapping through endless menus on a smartwatch is never fun, and it looks like Wear OS 3 might cut back on that.

Google said earlier this year that the Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 GPS, TicWatch Pro 3 Cellular/LTE, and Fossil Gen 6 will receive Wear OS 3 in the “mid to second half of 2022.” There’s still plenty of time between now and then for more changes, so the final build of Wear OS 3 for non-Samsung watches could end up looking a bit different, but this is what we have to go on right now.

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Corbin Davenport
Corbin Davenport

Corbin is a tech journalist and software developer based in Raleigh, North Carolina. He's also the host of the Tech Tales podcast, which explores the history of the technology industry. Follow him on Twitter at @corbindavenport.