Reviews - February 7, 2024

Here are the new app drawers and dynamic themes for Pixel Watch:

summary

  • Google is reportedly planning to introduce a new grid view app drawer for Wear OS that could come with Material You support.
  • The new grid view has a three-column layout for faster navigation, but app names are not displayed and must be identified by icons.
  • Dynamic themes and preset themes such as Almond, Sky, and Aqua will be available in the upcoming Pixel Feature Drop in March 2024.

A recent report highlighted that Google could introduce a new grid view app drawer for Wear OS that could be released alongside Material, which should support it for a long time. More details about App Grid for Google’s smartwatch operating system have surfaced online, suggesting a launch is imminent.

Android expert Mishaal Rahman, writing for Android Authority, gives us a nice look at the Pixel Watch 2’s new grid view app drawer. Currently, Google’s smartwatches only offer a simple, single-column list view app drawer where you can scroll vertically to find all your apps.

The new grid view features a three-column view, making it much quicker to look through the list of apps installed on your watch. There is a downside. The app name is not displayed in this view, so you must identify it by its icon.

Below is a video showing what the current single-column list view and the future three-column view look like in action.

Mishaal enabled the new grid-style app drawer in the latest Wear OS release for the Pixel Watch and Pixel Watch 2. This indicates that the feature is almost ready to roll out and will be available on both Google smartwatches. What’s even better is that after installing the February 2024 patch on the Pixel Watch 2, Android experts mentioned two changes to the new grid view. An ‘App’ label has been added to the top, and an App view shortcut that allows you to switch between grid view and list view has been added to the bottom of the drawer.

OS 4 Grid View App Drawer Wear

Mishaal was also able to manually enable Material You’s dynamic theme on his Pixel Watch. This option appears in Settings > Watch face & style, where you can change your watch face or system theme. Wear OS watches are known to pull colors from watch faces for their UI, but Google also provides a list of preset themes:

  • almond
  • sky
  • aqua
  • jade
  • spearmint
  • ship
  • Lime
  • dandelion
  • melon
  • Champagne
  • pomelo
  • flamingo

OS 4 Dynamic Theme Color Wear

OS 4 Dynamic Theme Color Wear for Material You

As you can see from the screenshot, this feature also appears to be ready for release. Google will release a new grid view app drawer and dynamic themes for Wear OS with a Pixel Feature Drop in March 2024. This update may also include a few other improvements, though these are currently unknown.

The last feature drop, arriving in December 2023, added several new features to Google’s smartwatch, including call screen, Do Not Disturb mode, and Bedtime Mode sync from the first-generation Pixel Watch.

However, if you have an Android smartwatch other than a Pixel, you will need to wait for a software update from the manufacturer to enjoy dynamic themes, which may take some time. App grid view is already available on most of our favorite Android smartwatches, except for the Pixel Watch.