Does Google have any plans to release Gmail or Google Calendar for Wear OS?

It seems like there are thousands of different wearable devices out there, and it’s hard to keep track. As a result of all these new innovations, companies have to rethink the best ways to integrate traditionally “dumb” devices.

Google has been steadfast in its approach to continuous, stream-of-consciousness-like feed for Android Wear. First introduced with the first iteration of Wear, the idea was that you would primarily interact with your watch through this feed. Besides having contextual cards from Google Now, it also had notifications, like emails which could be expanded and read.

Today, Gmail notifications let you read the full email, send an on-watch reply for quick response (via keyboard, voice, or emoji), archive, delete, or open on your phone. On the Pixel Watch, a swipe up will show emails and they’ll exist alongside other alerts.

You can’t open a Gmail app on the Apple Watch to get your inbox and other folders. Google recommends following these guidelines when designing apps:

We’ve created a tool that will help you focus on getting things done. How? You just have to enter a task in the Focused app – and it does the rest.

Keys to content hierarchy: Keep the number of levels in a hierarchy to a minimal. Show content inline when possible.

Apps can scroll, which is a natural gesture. Users have the ability to use their wrist and scroll through content on the watch to see more information.

Wear OS Google Calendar

Wear OS has app variety, and this is one of the things we love most about it. The apps are easy to use as a result, with most take on a feed-style form instead of anything more complex (or tabbed). Compare this to a basic email app, which features up to three levels of complexity. For people who are already familiar with the organization of folders, lists, and messages in email clients, notifications are displayed in a way that will make sense – so it’s less work for you.

A dedicated list would be so much easier than having to compete with the main notifications feed. Plus, a watch complication showing how many unreads you have would be awesome – just like Microsoft’s Outlook app for the Wear OS and their watch face feature.

The Wear OS interface offers a somewhat different calendar experience, with an “Agenda” app that displays three days of event details and lets you see everything at a glance. The Agenda widget can be displayed in several complication positions or as a useful tile that shows appointments right when they come due.

The bare minimum that Google could do to improve the Calendar experience is by increasing the number of upcoming events shown in the default week view. Additionally, they should add both a month and week view. Beyond that, adding a way to create an event right from the Calendar app on wearables or adding an API for third-party developers would really be beneficial. For email and calendar clients alike the ability to create an event right from the compose/creation UI or have an API would be helpful.

A personal request would be for Google to either integrate Tasks (especially with the Google Tasks elevation) into Agenda, or offer its own app so that there is a dedicated list view. The latter seems more likely given the integration found on the phone app.

Wear OS Gmail Calendar

While we should make the most of large screen optimization, buy-in from wearables by Google Workspace would be ideal. So far, feedback from users on this has been lacking and I think it will still take a little more time for Google to acquiesce and introduce more complexity in Wear OS. Smartwatches are getting more advanced all the time.

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