What new Pixel Watch 2 features are coming to PW w/ Wear OS 4

Wear OS 4 is coming to the original Pixel Watch later this year, and will bring some of the new safety features debuting on the Pixel Watch 2.

Safety is a big tentpole of the new wearable, and Google is adding three features to the original Pixel Watch with the Wear OS 4 update. First up is Emergency Sharing to send your real-time location to predefined contacts. Ahead of time, you can set what information is shared. On phones today, this includes:

  • Phone call: When you start and end a call
  • Emergency call: When you start and end an emergency call
  • Low battery: When your battery is below 15%
  • Real-time location: Required for Emergency Sharing. Uses Location Sharing in Google Maps.

This can be activated by opening the Personal Safety app on the Pixel Watch.

Next is Safety Check to create a check-in timer. If you don’t cancel the countdown, the Pixel Watch will automatically share your location with emergency contacts.

Note: You can decide to let your contacts know when you start or cancel a Safety Check or you can just set Safety Check to notify contacts if you don’t respond at the end of the timer. This automatically escalates to an Emergency Share.

This is again triggered from Personal Safety. 

Lastly, there’s the ability to add Medical information to your Pixel Watch that emergency responders can access by long-pressing on the crown. In fact, Google sells a $9.99 Medical ID Tag that you affix to a band. Available information that you’re already able to add on phones, includes: Date of birth, Blood type, Height, Weight, Allergies, Pregnancy status, Medications, Address, Medical notes, and Organ donor.

This joins the existing Emergency SOS and Fall Detection. Safety Signal (which requires Fitbit Premium) and “Emergency contact dialing” is exclusive to the Pixel Watch 2. 

Looking ahead, Google is bringing Auto Call Screen to both generations of Pixel Watch as long as it’s paired to a Tensor-powered phone. You’ll get the real-time transcription of a call on your wrist. This sounds set for the December Feature Drop. 

Apps, like Gmail, are already available on Wear OS 3 today, while new system features include the ability to transfer your watch to a new phone and updated Tile designs.

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