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Samsung unveils One UI for next Galaxy Watch — features, watchfaces and apps

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 One Watch UI
(Image credit: Samsung)

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, or the Samsung's next smartwatch, will be powered by a new user interface leveraging both the company's existing product ecosystem and its recent collaborations with Google. 

Google announced in May the next Galaxy Watch would run a unified version of Wear OS and Tizen. During Samsung's 2021 Mobile World Congress (MWC) keynote, the company teased an initiative called the One UI Watch experience — a platform designed to better extend Samsung's smartphone apps, tools and settings to user's wrists.

In hand with merged Wear OS software, the One UI Watch should present significant changes to the Galaxy Watch interface. It'll appear and update differently than the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3, Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 and other earlier Galaxy Watch models running Tizen.

One major upgrade is a big step towards a seamless handoff from smartphone to smartwatch. Soon, when you download new apps from the Google Play Store to your Samsung smartphone, they'll automatically show up on your new watch. 

Samsung also said it's working with third-party developers to ensure compatible smartwatch versions of popular apps are offered. The Wear OS app selection paled in comparison to watchOS — Tizen was even worse — so it's encouraging to learn Samsung is actively addressing early concerns we might have with the upcoming unified platform. 

Samsung also announced during MWC that it made a new watch face design tool. Android developers will be able to use a special editing suite to create watch face themes, align text, curate fonts, add animations and more.

In addition to app and watch face improvements, One UI Watch introduces mirroring tools not previously available. For example, when you block a number on your watch, it'll be added to your blocked numbers list on your phone. Similarly, when you add international clocks to your smartphone, they'll appear on your Galaxy Watch.

It seems like more of these extensions will materialize when the next Galaxy Watch debuts. Samsung confirmed a Galaxy Watch, likely the Galaxy Watch 4 or perhaps the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 4 (or both) will be unveiled at an Unpacked event "later this summer." 

Kate Kozuch

Kate Kozuch is a senior writer at Tom’s Guide covering wearables, TVs and everything smart-home related. When she’s not in cyborg mode, you can find her on an exercise bike or channeling her inner celebrity chef. She and her robot army will rule the world one day, but until then, reach her at kate.kozuch@futurenet.com.