A recent APK investigation suggests potentially updated visuals for Wear OS devices. The most recent foray into the source code for Android 14 hints to a Material You makeover for Wear OS gadgets. With its own design language, Google contributed several useful features, such as a color scheme that adapts to the user’s backdrop and custom app icons. Based on what we can deduce from the code, Google wants to make it possible for Wear OS devices to display dynamic color. According to 9to5, this is supported by the presence of the string “DYNAMIC COLOR THEME ENABLED” in the developer preview of Android 14.
Given that the most recent version of Android used by Wear OS smartwatches is 11, rather than the current version of Android 13, this is a significant development. This is understandable given that Wear OS devices are two software versions behind and hence can only run a stripped-down version of Material You. Further, 9to5 has uncovered hints that Wear OS devices will be updated to the most recent version of Android 13, which will allow for the inclusion of colorful components and other capabilities used by many of the top Android phones today. However, the devices may be able to bypass Android 13 altogether and instead run on Android 14 when it is released. To further emphasize the connected nature of your phone and wearable, Material You, if implemented, would take on the theme of the phone you have it paired with.
The functionality of Material You’s dynamic colors on a Pixel Watch is still up for debate. The creators of Wear OS devices have been lobbying Google to make black the default color for many of the operating system’s icons and the backdrop of several watch faces in an effort to save power, as reported by 9to5. Based on our testing, we concluded that the Pixel Watch’s battery life is rather poor, and that it would need charging at least twice a day. Although the gadget charges quickly, having a watch that depletes power more quickly might be a concern.