Google hasn’t exactly been the most consistent when it comes to its wearable platform. It rebranded Android Wear to Wear OS and changed the way the OS looked and behave. But after a brief period of activity, it let things slide again. Last month it attempted to revive interest in the platform with its new Tiles UI. Unfortunately, the initial rollout was incomplete and it’s only now that a feature enabling Tiles to be moved, added, and removed from your phone is rolling out little by little.
Tiles is pretty much what home screen widgets are for Android phones, except they take up one screen each. Each of those screens shows tools or information that may be relevant to wearers. While Tiles surface the things users might want to have quick access to, not all users may want all that information or in the same order.
You could rearrange those Tiles on your smartwatch directly but that can be a bit cumbersome and inconvenient if you have a lot to go through. You’d expect the Wear OS app would let you do so but guess again. It didn’t, at least not before this unannounced update.
Google has started pushing a server-side update that adds just that to the Wear OS phone app. When the feature has been enabled, users will receive a notification telling users they can manage Tiles from the phone app. Tapping on that will take users to a dedicated screen for managing those Tiles just the way you want it.
It’s a bit curious that it would take Google almost a month to have a feature users probably expect to be there on day one. Better late than never, though it does raise questions on Google’s commitment to Wear OS in the long run.