Google recently released the Pixel Watch and breathed new life into Wear OS after years of neglect, but how serious is Google about its second foray into the smartwatch market, really? Getting your core apps up and running on the platform would be a good sign of support, and a new report from 9to5Google says some heavy hitters are on the way. The report reads: “We heard that Google is testing Gmail and Calendar for Wear OS. The experience was described as “complete” for us, although we weren’t able to find out whether this involves creating events or composing new emails. emails.”
Building any wearable apps would be a huge step forward for the Google Workspace suite, which, for whatever reason, has been very hesitant about wearables for the past eight years. Workspace doesn’t even have apps for the Apple Watch, let alone Wear OS. Google’s biggest productivity competitor, Microsoft, has an Outlook app for both wearable platforms.
Wear OS mirrors your smartphone’s notifications, so for something like Gmail, you can still see and read a new Gmail message if it lands in your notifications and sends you a reply. You can even voice send a new email if you know the address or have a contact, all without the app. What you can’t do is most of the normal browsing tasks like looking through your inbox and searching your old email. It would also be nice to have watch-centric notification options rather than just mirroring your phone’s settings.
A full calendar app would be nice too, but Wear OS already has an indifferent calendar app called “Agenda” which appears to be just built-in and not on the Play Store. As you might expect, this is a really basic app that just shows you the agenda view of a Google calendar for the next three days.
Gmail is an odd omission, as there are already several similar apps on Wear OS. The Google Messages app shows a list of SMS messages in an inbox that you can tap and read. It works great, and a Gmail app with the exact same layout would be a good start; Google just needs to build it. Google Chat also lacks a wearable app and would work fine in a similar layout.
Really, Google’s only productivity app for Wear OS is Google Keep, so Google has a lot of work to do to bring its lineup of Wear OS apps up to a reasonable level. Also, it’s been seven years and the Apple Watch doesn’t seem to be a fad or anything, so Google might want to start a Gmail app for that too.